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Multicultural Canada: Wayang Kulit - Lynn Copeland, Simon Fraser University

Grades
3 to 12
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This unique site by Multicultural Canada is part of a digitization project that aims to tell the stories of the cultures that make up Canada. Other modules include Chinese, ...more
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This unique site by Multicultural Canada is part of a digitization project that aims to tell the stories of the cultures that make up Canada. Other modules include Chinese, Japanese, Scottish, Indonesian, Italian, Jewish, Vietnamese,and Pakistan collections are included in the learning modules. Detailed lesson plans, related resources, with rubrics are included. IN this module, Simon Fraser University shares their collection of Wayang Kulit, or shadow puppetry from Indonesia. Wayang Kulit often portrays moral or political messages. The university featured the exhibit, Crossing Oceans, Crossing Cultures, which includes the shadow puppets and stories about good and evil, respect, duty, friendship, and loyalty. The website shows some of the Wayang Kulit shadow puppets, as well as providing information on traditional stories. Photographs of several intricate shadow puppets are included. Ideas for projects using a variety of free downloads are suggested. There is also an introductory video.

tag(s): canada (30), myths and legends (25), readers theater (17), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

In language arts classes, study universal stories and myths while discovering the culture of Indonesia and shadow puppetry. Dramatize the elements of good versus evil, characterization, and plot. Discover a unique twist to Readers' Theater. Storyboarding opportunities allow for a simpler construction of a story performance with fewer background scenery or props necessary. Sound and musical accompaniments can add to the creativity of the performance. Reluctant readers through gifted learners will enjoy the flexibility and creativity of the art of shadow puppetry.

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Teen Space - Internet Public Library

Grades
8 to 12
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This site offers numerous activities and articles on many topics. Topics include School and Homework Help, Heath & Sexuality, TeenSpace Poetry, Handle Your Finances, and much more....more
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This site offers numerous activities and articles on many topics. Topics include School and Homework Help, Heath & Sexuality, TeenSpace Poetry, Handle Your Finances, and much more. Prepared by the University of Michigan librarians under the guise of the Internet Public Library, all sites are well screened and reviewed. There are some social features at this site (i.e. chat) so you may want to preview whatever you plan to share AND set parameters for what is allowed in class.

tag(s): graphic novels (7), homework (44), novels (24), poetry (227), sexuality (14)

In the Classroom

Put a link to this site on classroom computers under reference. Challenge students to explore one of the topics at this site and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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SuperKids Vocabulary Builders - Super Kids

Grades
3 to 11
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This site offers vocabulary enhancement activities in a variety of neat ways. Words of the day are available on three levels, upper elementary, junior high or middle school, and PSAT/SAT...more
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This site offers vocabulary enhancement activities in a variety of neat ways. Words of the day are available on three levels, upper elementary, junior high or middle school, and PSAT/SAT prep. Hangman, wordfind, scrambled words, and other conventional word games are also available.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): logic (235), puzzles (208), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use this site to review pertinent vocabulary by making FUN activities for your students! Share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Sumo Paint 3.0 - Lauri Koutaniemi and Aaro Vaananen

Grades
6 to 12
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Sumo Paint is a free, web-based painting and photo editing application. Without even having to create an account, users can edit images from a URL or personal desktop file. Simply ...more
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Sumo Paint is a free, web-based painting and photo editing application. Without even having to create an account, users can edit images from a URL or personal desktop file. Simply go directly to the site and begin editing images or creating work directly from a web browser (Firefox and Google Chrome only, at the time of this review), or download the app to your desktop. The painting tools included are layering, cloning, blur effects, a magic wand, shape tools, paint bucket, lasso selecting, filters, and the ability to add text. The photo editing tools allow for the adjusting contrast, hue saturation, and color balance. The application works with JPGs, GIFs and PNGs and saves work as a JPG and PNG format. The support tutorials provide tips on how to use these various features. Sumo Paint also serves as a global network of artists and is available in over fifty different languages. Without an account, users can view work but cannot share or post comments. Signing up for a free account will provide artists an opportunity to share their work, comment, view, and rate the work others artists. A free account also grants access to features such as the ability save the layer data incomplete artwork, back up files, and participate in collaborative image creation.

tag(s): design (84), painting (66), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Previous experience with layer-based design software editing such as Photoshop is extremely beneficial. The "Sumo Paint Help" page provides helpful tutorials but individuals without previous training may need additional support.

Challenge students to learn about the tools professional designers use today. Select and then project video help tutorials to the whole class. Before sending students off for independent practice, demonstrate how to use the image editing and painting tools on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The videos in this section link to YouTube, so systems that block YouTube access may not be able to access this without a work-around. If your school blocks YouTube, consider accessing this site and previewing the video at home, using a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube to bring it in "on a stick" for class use. Rather than a traditional report, challenge students to write articles and create magazine covers for biographies, history or science reports using Magazine Cover Maker reviewed here. Have students create icons for logos for websites. Have students create artwork for CD labels for portfolios or multimedia projects using CD Cover Maker reviewed here. Post a link to Sumo Paint on your class website for student access outside of school. The beauty of this free cloud based software it that students can start a project in school, collaborate on a single image, and continue to work on it after school hours.

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Next Step - Next Step Publishing, Inc.

Grades
8 to 12
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This teen focused ezine is designed to help teens educate themselves about what's available for them after high school. Primarily for the college bound, the bi-monthly magazine has...more
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This teen focused ezine is designed to help teens educate themselves about what's available for them after high school. Primarily for the college bound, the bi-monthly magazine has a theme for each issue. Sections include opportunities for young people to match their interests and goals with appropriate schools, to read articles about a variety of topics related to college attendance and admission, to read about careers, and more!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): careers (132), college (43)

In the Classroom

Help make high school juniors and seniors aware of this helpful site. Guidance classes will benefit from using this. Put this link on your class website (or school) for students to access both in and out of class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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English Idioms - Wayne Magnuson

Grades
3 to 10
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Here you will find a dictionary of slang words and phrases that is organized into three sections: idioms alone, idioms that contain a specific word (like "get"), and idioms explained...more
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Here you will find a dictionary of slang words and phrases that is organized into three sections: idioms alone, idioms that contain a specific word (like "get"), and idioms explained by a specific word. Simply click on the letter of the alphabet to find the word or phrase they are looking for. The definitions of the idioms also contain links to other idioms with similar meaning. Another helpful feature is the use of the idiom in a sentence. A version of the dictionary is available as a book as well. Try looking up idioms containing the word "dog" as an example.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), idioms (44), slang (15)

In the Classroom

This is a great resource for mixed classes with limited English speakers or students with very literal language skills.

If your state testing requires understanding of idioms, be sure to include this link on your teacher web page and as a Favorite on your classroom computer for students to "play" with whenever they have a chance.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Fairrosa Cyber Library for Children - Roxanne Hsu Feldman

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers a well organized and comprehensive collection of links to online literature, classics, folk tales, poetry, reference materials, magazines, and professional journals....more
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This site offers a well organized and comprehensive collection of links to online literature, classics, folk tales, poetry, reference materials, magazines, and professional journals. There is also access to a library of websites organized and maintained by a librarian. Reference shelf links give access to professional articles and other resources for children's literature including information about authors. The archive section leads to archives of discussions about materials for students.

tag(s): authors (120), ebooks (41), literature (275)

In the Classroom

Whether you're reading the classics or folk tales in your classroom, students can access these stories online in school or at home. Since many of the genres have an extensive collection, you might consider reading one as a class, and then having small groups choose different titles to read and present the story or folktale in picture book format. You can easily have them do this online using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Once the project is done these books can be posted to your website for students in class to read through, and for parents and family to view.

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LiveBinders4Teachers - Barbara Tallent

Grades
K to 12
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This website is a compilation of completed LiveBinders. LiveBinders4Teachers is separated by subject, grade, and general usage. This would be a great way for a new teacher to get ideas...more
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This website is a compilation of completed LiveBinders. LiveBinders4Teachers is separated by subject, grade, and general usage. This would be a great way for a new teacher to get ideas for teaching units. Using a pre-made binder saves time and sheds light on some of the potential of the application. Anyone interested in setting up their own LiveBinders would benefit from using this resource. To learn more about Livebinders and how to make your own, see our full review of LiveBinders here.

tag(s): classroom management (134), teaching strategies (24)

In the Classroom

Use these prefabricated binders as the base for your own binders! Also, connect with other adventurous technology using teachers to glean new ideas and discover even more new tools.

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Books Should Be Free - BooksShouldbe free

Grades
K to 12
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Acquaint student's with the classics (and more) with these free public domain audio books. Most of these novels are written by authors such as: Mark Twain, L. Frank Baum, Lewis ...more
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Acquaint student's with the classics (and more) with these free public domain audio books. Most of these novels are written by authors such as: Mark Twain, L. Frank Baum, Lewis Carroll, Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austin, J.B. Barrie, Hugh Lofting, and Beatrix Potter. Some audio tracks are available in different languages. The most significant collection appears to be in French and German. Download MP3 files for each chapter in one zip file (333 MB) or directly into iTunes. Search for books by genre, author, title, or keywords. Suggest this site to students who have difficulties with reading, including with ESL/ELL students. 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 site with your teaching colleagues who work with your learning support, foreign language, or ESL/ELL students..

tag(s): ebooks (41), fluency (23), french (88), german (64), literature (275), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Upgrade your literature circles and include e-readers that are speech enabled. Share the stories (or full text) on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Books Should Be Free provides links to the free text that accompanies the audio track. Sites such as Project Gutenberg (reviewed here) contain free versions of the full text. Students can simultaneously listen and read books on either a classroom computer, iPad, Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, or other mobile or cell phone. These recordings will also boost fluency instruction by serving as an oral reading model. Audio-assisted books will encourage students to read with expression, improve reading comprehension, stimulate vocabulary development, and provide a way for students to read text beyond their reading level.

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Quizbox - Quizbox.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create a quiz for your blog, wiki, or site in 3 easy steps! Set up your quiz structure, including number of questions, number of choices for the question, and title. ...more
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Create a quiz for your blog, wiki, or site in 3 easy steps! Set up your quiz structure, including number of questions, number of choices for the question, and title. Edit the questions and choices. Complete the quiz and place on your blog. At the end of the quiz, students click submit and get their score. Use the result editor to provide a feedback message depending upon their score.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (97), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Use as a pre-test at the start of a chapter or unit. Identify misconceptions or basic knowledge to help determine instruction. Identify interests of students at the start of the school year. Use to poll students on project ideas or to determine reactions to current events. Do the questions as a whole-class activity on a multimedia projector or interactive whiteboard with students contributing the portions of knowledge they do know toward solving the question. Using teamwork and thinking aloud can often help the group reach a conclusion that no single member could do on his/her own. They can each test different math answers to see which one is correct. This process will not only foster thinking aloud and group communication, but also model test-taking skills for multiple choice.
 

Edge Features:

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BrainBashers - Kevin Stone

Grades
3 to 12
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BrainBashers offers many different types of puzzles, riddles, brain teasers, and optical illusions. The site is updated daily so new material is always readily available. Each time...more
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BrainBashers offers many different types of puzzles, riddles, brain teasers, and optical illusions. The site is updated daily so new material is always readily available. Each time you open the site, find a new fun fact along with an odd word and its definition. The site is organized into puzzles, games, illusions, fun stuff, and logic games. Sudoku puzzles of different difficulty levels are also available. The link for teachers includes puzzles for schools and useful pages including optical illusions, memory tests, and logic puzzles.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): logic (235), problem solving (272), puzzles (208), riddles (15)

In the Classroom

Use the odd words daily for students to learn new vocabulary. Share the fun fact on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a class discussion starter. Print and share Sudoku and other puzzles as challenge activities. Use logic puzzles in class for practice with problem solving skills. Share the site on your classroom website or blog for students to access at home.

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Student Produced Video Field Trips - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 12
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What is a student created video field trip? Simply put, it is an experience where a group of students goes to a site to shoot video, interviews, etc. and streams ...more
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What is a student created video field trip? Simply put, it is an experience where a group of students goes to a site to shoot video, interviews, etc. and streams the video (live and archived) to students, parents, and others unable to attend in person. TeachersFirst shares this how-to and why-to so you and your students will try it. Expand each point within these pages to learn what to do in detail---and skip the steps you already know or that don't apply!

tag(s): video (253)

In the Classroom

Read through the step by step and get started! TeachersFirst offers all the practical advice you need to try this 21st century approach to real world learning.

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Plagiarism Checker - Darren Horn

Grades
6 to 12
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This site allows users to check a document or web page for evidence of plagiarism for free. Type or copy/paste text from parts of the document or website and click ...more
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This site allows users to check a document or web page for evidence of plagiarism for free. Type or copy/paste text from parts of the document or website and click search. Of course, you will need electronic copies of student work to easily copy/paste! Plagiarism Checker provides links to web-based text similar to that being searched. Note that this tool does not check against print material, such as books. It searches only the web for similar passages.

tag(s): plagiarism (35)

In the Classroom

Students can use this plagiarism checker to be sure they are turning in original work. Teachers can use this service to check the work of students (submitted electronically). Students should create accounts with their parents to check their work at home. Model this site to explain what plagiarism IS and how students can avoid it. The hands-on experience will help them understand this challenging concept. You might even want to provide several examples of plagiarized writing as an exercise for student to check and correct before they copy/paste their way to trouble in a research assignment. Another interesting exercise for researchers is to locate an article on a how-to topic, such as "How to Paint a Room," then see how many sites use the exact same text. As a class, discuss whether this proliferation is good or bad (is the web spreading misinformation, too?).

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iNudge - Hobnox

Grades
3 to 12
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Create music simply! Use this tool to create your own music and embed it in your class blog or site. Choose from 8 instruments, and click the squares to hear ...more
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Create music simply! Use this tool to create your own music and embed it in your class blog or site. Choose from 8 instruments, and click the squares to hear sound patterns. Add more instruments to get the mix you want. Combine them, change the tempo, and add other effects. Share by URL or using the embed code.

tag(s): musical notation (35), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Use the songs in a writing class as a story prompt. In a language class, list the adjectives and adverbs come to mind while listening to the music prompt. Create music to describe a biome or an animal or plant. Use music to represent culture or reactions to an event in history. Use music to add pizazz to a blog or site. Identify various sounds and the mood they create. View the most listened and newest iNudges found on the site.

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Squareleaf - Squareleaf.net

Grades
4 to 12
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Use this great online "sticky-note" website to get organized. Squareleaf is a simple to use online tool that uses colors and shapes to stay organized. Sort information using the color...more
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Use this great online "sticky-note" website to get organized. Squareleaf is a simple to use online tool that uses colors and shapes to stay organized. Sort information using the color coding and different shaped boxes. Separate information from your personal life and daily tasks. Easily manage daily, weekly or monthly tasks by using this simple to use tool. You can review your post-its from any web connected device.

tag(s): note taking (32)

In the Classroom

Students can easily store their notes and share with others. Use this tool to manage projects and schedule tasks. Help students organize the specific tasks necessary to finish a project. Use class discussion to decide what needs to be done and the intermediate steps to completing projects. Use different colors and shapes to manage different projects. Teachers of both gifted and learning support students can use this tool together with students to build organizational skills. Teachers can use this tool to manage and plan short term tasks, longer term units, and graduate class assignments from their busy lives.

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Class Jump - Classjump.com

Grades
7 to 12
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Looking for a free web site to communicate with parents and students? Class Jump is a free educational platform. Determine your learning goals as you set up your "classroom." Post ...more
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Looking for a free web site to communicate with parents and students? Class Jump is a free educational platform. Determine your learning goals as you set up your "classroom." Post homework and upload documents for students to access. Add events to the class calendar. Post articles of interest and links to be viewed. Receive homework and other documents from your students. Create a message board (forum) for use by all the students in your class. Upload photos and create as many albums as needed. Create an account. Creating a school identity requires a paid account. Manage multiple classes with this easy to understand interface.

tag(s): classroom management (134), forum (9), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Manage your classroom with this resource. Use as a class hub to manage documents, photos, and files. Be sure to define the use of the message board. You may wish to create a practice student account to see what the tool looks like as a student. Be sure to share this link so students and parents can access both in and out of the classroom. Use Class Jump in teacher ed programs to show up and coming teachers how a website can enhance instruction.

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Project Based Learning for the 21st Century - Buck Institute for Education

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for more information on Project Based Learning (PBL)? Find videos, information, and examples on this site. Though some material on this site is for sale, there are plenty of...more
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Looking for more information on Project Based Learning (PBL)? Find videos, information, and examples on this site. Though some material on this site is for sale, there are plenty of free materials. Read about PBL, watch videos, or download word or pdf documents found under the Tools section. Sign up to participate in the forum for more interaction with the content and other educators using PBL. Click the PBL Do-It Yourself bar along the right side for more information and links. Be sure to check out the tweets on the bottom of the front page for great ideas and links to use.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (99)

In the Classroom

Use these ideas in any subject area classroom. Aspects of PBL can be used in introductory activities or whole units. Use driving questions to stimulate student curiosity to know more about how curriculum applies to their lives. Use this PBL framework to give students freedom to research aspects of the content or problem of personal interest. Be sure to view the resources to adequately plan for a successful unit project that incorporates 21st century skills utilizing engaging activities and content.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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5 Minute Mystery - Mystery Competition, LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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This mystery reading game helps increase reading comprehension and critical thinking skills in an innovative way. The basic game is free. You can sign up to have two mysteries a ...more
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This mystery reading game helps increase reading comprehension and critical thinking skills in an innovative way. The basic game is free. You can sign up to have two mysteries a week sent to you, or you can use their archive. There is a "How to Play" section where you can view a video, open pdf instructions, or look at the instructions online. After reading a mystery you select the correct sentences that are clues, and select a character that the clue either exonerates or implicates. Points are awarded for each clue you get correct. For a fee, you can get a premium account that has graphic organizers, questions, and writing suggestions, however, this review is for the free, basic version. Even with the basic program, you can look under lesson plans and find objectives and ideas for your classroom and for creating leagues.

Bonus: There's an app for that! For the iphone, of course!
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tag(s): critical thinking (108), mysteries (25), reading comprehension (116), short stories (25)

In the Classroom

Use your projector and interactive whiteboard to show your students the directions for getting points by selecting the correct clues and solving the mystery. To begin with, as a class, read a mystery and discuss what the clues might be and whether they implicate or exonerate each suspect. Once the students have volunteered their ideas for which sentences are clues, submit them to see the score. The program will highlight the answers you should have had, if you got any wrong. Model for your students a discussion about why those are the correct answers and why the ones they submitted weren't. Eventually have this disscussion by themselves in small groups. Those of you with multiple classes will want to create a league for each class.

Eventually you can have small groups of students compete against each other by creating leagues. Have your students come to consensus about the clue sentences and who the real perpetrator is by voting using Thinkmeter reviewed here.

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Online Writing Resources - Red River College

Grades
5 to 12
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Get ready made, 'downloadable' PowerPoints, Word documents, and online interactive exercises for plagiarism, MLA format, works cited, and grammar. The grammar collection includes such...more
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Get ready made, 'downloadable' PowerPoints, Word documents, and online interactive exercises for plagiarism, MLA format, works cited, and grammar. The grammar collection includes such topics as run-on and fragment sentences, active and passive voice, pronoun case, punctuation, and more. The interactive exercises allow students to practice concepts on their own as the program will tell them which answer is correct.

tag(s): capitalization (19), copyright (47), grammar (216), homonyms (12), homophones (17), parts of speech (68), plagiarism (35), proofreading (19), punctuation (43), sentences (52), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Online Writing Resources allows you to introduce a concept with the PowerPoint projected on your whiteboard or projector, then, you can choose to have the students practice online with the interactive exercise(s). As a follow up you can use the Word document as class work, homework, or a quiz. Another idea would be to use the Word document or interactive exercises with the entire class where you can annotate the concept you're explaining with your projector and interactive whiteboard. Assign individual students to complete a specific module for an area of writing where they need extra practice.

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Of Mice and Men: The Student Survival Guide - Nancy Louise Rutherford

Grades
9 to 12
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This great site is dedicated to the novel, Of Mice and Men and could be useful to any student struggling with the literature. Designed to help any student (even ESL/ELL) ...more
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This great site is dedicated to the novel, Of Mice and Men and could be useful to any student struggling with the literature. Designed to help any student (even ESL/ELL) having difficulty with this challenging novel, the site contains chapter synopses, definitions for all difficult words, allusions, and idioms also organized by chapter. Links provide opportunities to delve into the historical and cultural features of the time period of this novel as well as information about the author John Steinbeck. Although the last update to the site was LONG ago, the content is still quite useful.

tag(s): literature (275), novels (24)

In the Classroom

Promote independent reading habits among your advanced ESL/ELL students! Include this link on your class web page for ESL/ELL students and others who may need the extra help.

While reading this novel with your class, assign cooperative learning groups one chapter to create a project. Of course, the entire class will be reading the entire text. However, each group could create a review activity for their own chapter, such as a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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