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What's Your Reading History - NY Times

Grades
6 to 12
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This lesson plan assists students to reflect on what kind of reader they are by going through their own reading histories until they find one that shaped the kind of ...more
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This lesson plan assists students to reflect on what kind of reader they are by going through their own reading histories until they find one that shaped the kind of readers and persons they are today. Students close their eyes and listen to a guided journey through their reading pasts; they then respond to it in a journal. Options include reading the words of a published author who realized she was illiterate and discussing or writing about what she said. A teacher's pdf is included to help students format their writings. McREL standards are included (for grades 6-12).

tag(s): independent reading (128)

In the Classroom

Use this activity both at the beginning and ending of a school year to impress upon the students the importance reading plays in their self-concepts. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce the idea of regular journal keeping. After students complete their writing segment, have them do a media project that reflects their reading "identities."

Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits reviewed here. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here). Share the results of their writing and posters at open house nights or --even better- embedded in your class wiki or web page. Ask students to find what other celebrities and authors say about how reading has influenced their lives. Collect quotes from famous people about writers and list them on posters in your classroom.
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ESL Holidays Lessons - Sean Banville

Grades
1 to 8
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Look no further for holiday activities for your ESL and ELL students (or for reading/listening comprehension activities you can use with all learners! This site lists conventional and...more
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Look no further for holiday activities for your ESL and ELL students (or for reading/listening comprehension activities you can use with all learners! This site lists conventional and unusual holidays by month. Click the holiday you would like to feature to find a complete lesson including a tape script, an oral recording of the script, and a variety of review exercises. The printable activities include matching, several varieties of fill-in-the-blank, word choices, spelling, reordering events and sentences from the holiday information, and writing activities. An online clickable reading activity presents parts of sentences, so students must select which sentence part comes first. The screen changes when the correct part comes up, and students select the next part.

tag(s): holidays (147)

In the Classroom

Use this site to help ESL/ELL students improve listening, reading, writing, and cultural knowledge. Invite an ESL/ELL student to present a holiday from their home country to the class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Many of the review activities would also work well as reading comprehension practice on interactive whiteboard, especially if students use highlighters and pens to mark up the text passage to locate key terms, etc.

Have students create online holiday posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Share this site with families of your ESL/ELL students to learn more about American holidays.
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Our Documents - National Archives

Grades
6 to 12
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This site, a collaborative effort among the National Archives, National History Day and USA Freedom Corps, highlights the most important documents in US history. Each of these "milestone"...more
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This site, a collaborative effort among the National Archives, National History Day and USA Freedom Corps, highlights the most important documents in US history. Each of these "milestone" documents is detailed and photographed on a separate page; the photo can be enlarged for presentation on an interactive whiteboard. What is most helpful for teachers, however, is the link to tools for educators: a downloadable sourcebook, suggestions for using the documents to meet specific national social studies, economics, English, arts, civics, history, geography and technology standards, and lesson plans. This site was clearly designed with teachers in mind!

tag(s): history day (23), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

The use of primary sources in teaching has been greatly increased by our digital access to documents like these. Peruse the list of "milestone" documents, and commit to using the photographs on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) when the document comes up in a lesson or discussion. For teachers who are supporting student projects for National History Day, this site also has a link to specific tips, although it appears the site has not been kept up to date with current information on individual competitions. Challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate one of the documents and create a multimedia project of their choice. Looking for some inspiration? How about having groups create a podcast using PodOmatic (reviewed here). Or have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Have students narrate a photo of the document (using a FREE and LEGAL photo) using a site such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Blizzard - Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri State University

Grades
4 to 7
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This unique webquest is based on "The Long Winter" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The students' task involves learning about the great blizzard of 1881, to prepare for a blizzard ...more
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This unique webquest is based on "The Long Winter" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The students' task involves learning about the great blizzard of 1881, to prepare for a blizzard that is coming to their hometown in the present! The main task is to be sure all members of your family have food (from all food groups) to eat throughout the blizzard. This site provides a lot of research, interesting graphics and a teacher-created rubric.

tag(s): nutrition (154), snow (21)

In the Classroom

This is a motivating webquest during the cold months of winter. The webquest incorporates literature, science, research, writing and more!

Instead of creating paper posters, make the assignment a little different and have them create online posters for the final product. Try a site like Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Students can create them on classroom computers, and can present them via projector or interactive whiteboard!

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Online English Language and Literature Resouces - University of Toronto

Grades
6 to 12
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This site from the library at the University of Toronto offers asignificant collection of electronic literature texts including journals and bibliographies. ...more
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This site from the library at the University of Toronto offers asignificant collection of electronic literature texts including journals and bibliographies.

tag(s): book lists (128)

In the Classroom

Use this resource in study of classical languages as well as cultural world history. Add the site URL to your list of top online libraries. In literature class, share this site and have students (or groups of students) explore one of the many works listed at this site. Challenge the groups to create electronic "posters" or word graphics (about their piece of literature) using a tool such as Piclits (reviewed here).

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Obsurvey - Copenhagen Code

Grades
7 to 12
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Create polls and surveys easily and without ads or limits. Build your survey by using the simple tools to add text and various methods of receiving responses such as radio ...more
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Create polls and surveys easily and without ads or limits. Build your survey by using the simple tools to add text and various methods of receiving responses such as radio boxes, checklists, and short or long text. Add page breaks, copy questions, and move questions in your survey. Use the editor bar at the top of your survey page to save, preview, or collect responses. Use additional formatting including adding links. When saving, choose to have only one response per computer or many from the same computer.

tag(s): statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Users must be knowledgeable of simple formatting and the various choices available for a survey. Follow the simple online guide to make your survey. View the demo on the main page for more information on how to use Obsurvey.

Consider creating a class account for students to use. Students can turn in a word document of questions to be able to attribute work to students. Be sure to spell out appropriate and inappropriate use, consequences, and then be sure to follow through.

Use a survey or poll to find answers to questions that are simple to collect data on (favorite food, color, vacation spot, number of siblings etc.) Use data to show averages, results of small and large samples, graphing, simple statistics, and more. Find results of what people believe about various issues or ideas to introduce in class discussions or debates. Want student input on a unit or possible next activity? Use a poll to find out! Use as a way to check for prior knowledge at the start of a unit. Polls and surveys are applicable for every subject at the beginning, middle, or end of a unit. Uncover misconceptions from students in your class as well as the school community.

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Random Poem Generator - Mathijs1988

Grades
4 to 12
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Anything can be turned into a poem by using this web site! Enter a url for a web page that has text, choose a rhyme scheme (Haiku, ABAB alternating, or ...more
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Anything can be turned into a poem by using this web site! Enter a url for a web page that has text, choose a rhyme scheme (Haiku, ABAB alternating, or AABB), then select "poemize this page." Results will include words from the selected web page in poem form. Examples are included on the main page showing how this can be done with text from Romeo and Juliet, Pokerface by Lady Gaga, and more. After the poem appears, there is a choice for creating a new poem from the same site.

tag(s): poetry (228)

In the Classroom

Introduce your poetry unit by showing this site on your interactive whiteboard and demonstrating the three types of poems created from items known to students. Create poetry from student-created websites for classroom display. Have students create poems from websites then use this site to create poems and compare the different outputs. Choose websites that aren't language arts related such as math, history, or science sites and create poetry from their content. For some interesting, high level discussion, ask students what makes something a "poem" vs. simply a collection of words.

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Biographies of Women Mathematicians - Agnes Scott College

Grades
7 to 12
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These pages are part of an on-going project at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia, to illustrate the numerous achievements of women in the field of mathematics. The site includes...more
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These pages are part of an on-going project at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia, to illustrate the numerous achievements of women in the field of mathematics. The site includes biographical essays or comments on the women mathematicians profiled, as well as additional resources about women in mathematics. Each time the home page is reloaded, a randomly selected photo is displayed. Click on the image to go to the profile of that woman. The site is also searchable by alphabetical order, chronological order, names by location of birth, the first PhD's in Mathematics of Women before 1930, and prizes, honors and awards for women mathematicians.

tag(s): biographies (87)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students as a resource when writing biographies of famous mathematicians (or women's history.) Share one woman mathematician on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) each day as students arrive in class. Use this site in history class to locate and research famous mathematicians alive during the time period being studied. Challenge students to research one of these famous women and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Zoho Show - ZOHO Corporation

Grades
K to 12
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Zoho Show is an online presentation and document creator tool. This program is somewhat simpler than PowerPoint, but runs on a similar format. Use this tool as you would PowerPoint...more
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Zoho Show is an online presentation and document creator tool. This program is somewhat simpler than PowerPoint, but runs on a similar format. Use this tool as you would PowerPoint with your students. It is very advantageous if you have assigned a project and students do not have access to PowerPoint at home. This can be accessed anywhere with no cost to the student, the parent, or you. Sharing and collaborating is also simple. Upload, edit, and save your documents easily.

tag(s): multimedia (57), slides (63)

In the Classroom

To use this site, you will need to create an account. You will need to navigate using onscreen instructions. There is a video tour of the features if you would like to view it, but it is just as fun and easy to play with the tool. Slide themes are limited, but the tools are simple and it is easy to publish to a URL that can be shared with everyone.

Use this tool to create presentations when students will need more than class time to finish. Have students make individual presentations. Instead of presenting on projector, have them share to the class wiki or within their zoho group to promote discussion and peer review. Assign a round-robin peer review so everyone gets some feedback.

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Quiz Revolution - QuizRevolution

Grades
2 to 12
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Create cool, professional looking quizzes and tests! Quiz Revolution offers a platform for developing online quizzes for your websites and blogs. Multimedia options offer the opportunity...more
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Create cool, professional looking quizzes and tests! Quiz Revolution offers a platform for developing online quizzes for your websites and blogs. Multimedia options offer the opportunity to personalize quizzes and to create a more interesting look for your pages. You can add text, images, video, and html as well as choosing from pre-made "skins." There is a "look and play" section where you will get an idea of this program's capabilities.

tag(s): assessment (100), quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Create quizzes to use for pre- and post- lesson assessments. Post the quizzes to your class website or blog as assignments. Insert videos, photos, and text into your quiz to reinforce concepts before students take the test. Assign students to create a quiz on a current topic as a wrap-up to a unit. Share the quiz on your interactive whiteboard or projector (use it as a center, rather than a "whole-group" activity. Learning support teachers may want to have students work with a partner to create review quizzes they can use as study aids.

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Things to Learn With: Learning Almanac - Cheryl Davis

Grades
6 to 12
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Find meaningful ways to teach 21st century skills in all curricular areas. Spend some time with this collection of lesson ideas that utilize Google Docs, other Google tools, and some...more
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Find meaningful ways to teach 21st century skills in all curricular areas. Spend some time with this collection of lesson ideas that utilize Google Docs, other Google tools, and some 2.0 programs such as wikis and YouTube across the curriculum. Browse through the outstanding resources which are perfect for middle school and beyond.

tag(s): blogs (88), charts and graphs (195), communities (35), experiments (71), geology (81), literature (275), news (261), search strategies (30), spreadsheets (17), statistics (122), tutorials (47), wikis (19)

In the Classroom

For example, use the lesson It's a Statistical World to bring statistics and the use of spreadsheets into the classroom. Follow project ideas, suggestions, and how to's to complete the activity. Specific examples, suggestions, and tutorials for using the resources are given throughout. Find unbelievable ideas that are exceptional for many curricular areas. Mark this one in your Favorites to use when you need inspiration or a new approach to curriculum that never seems to "stick" the way you wish it would.
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Teen Read Week - American Library Association

Grades
6 to 12
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To raise teen interest in reading and reading related activities, encourage your teens to participate in some of the Teen Read week activities! This annual event is held in mid-October....more
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To raise teen interest in reading and reading related activities, encourage your teens to participate in some of the Teen Read week activities! This annual event is held in mid-October. Get free posters from YALSA and radio announcements to send or email to local radio stations. Have teens participate in creating an original theme and logo for National Legislation Day and win a free trip to DC. Each year offers new competitions and activities, so check back every fall!

tag(s): creativity (109), posters (36)

In the Classroom

Stir up interest in reading by making these teen appealing activities available to your classes on your teacher web site, bulletin boards, or in class. Be sure to share this annual event with families. Participate in some of the challenges with your class.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Collaborize Classroom - Democrasoft

Grades
3 to 12
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Use this free resource to create a private area for asynchronous student discussions. Easily set up your class space including your groups. Use the welcome email to learn more about...more
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Use this free resource to create a private area for asynchronous student discussions. Easily set up your class space including your groups. Use the welcome email to learn more about Collaborize Classroom including 8 Online Icebreakers. Tutorials for learning how to enter students into groups, creating new groups, and choosing discussion types exist. Consensus discussions such as yes/no, multiple choice, and vote/suggest can be chosen. Open discussions can occur using the forum discussion type. Add video, images, documents, and more to your discussions. Students, however, cannot upload material to the discussions. Because it is a closed group, outside comments are not a concern (group members must be added, invited, or approved). The process from setup to a functioning site is very simple. Tutorials and technical support is available and make this tool very easy to use. Use participation and activity tools in Collaborize Classroom to track student participation. Use the available PDF's for assistance in using Collaborize Classroom and ideas to use in class to stimulate discussions and engage learning. Watch the videos on the site from educators that show how they use the site in their classrooms.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), forum (9), polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Use this tool for discussions, project collaboration, voting on issues, and sharing resources in and out of the classroom. Increase student participation and encourage in-class discussions and outside homework, extension of the classroom, and activity. Use for blended learning activities that include discussion questions to extend the discussions from in class to outside the classroom. Provide multiple choice questions that they can answer, agree or disagree with statements, post comments, or vote on other responses. Use the discussions to debate issues in the school community or within the country. Critique and comment on current events as they are happening. Use to discuss environmental problems. Use groupings to create literature circles. Watch the videos on the site from educators that show how they use the site in their classrooms.

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iPod user group Wiki - Joe Morelock

Grades
K to 12
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If considering writing a grant for iPods or iPads, then this is a site not to miss. View examples of grant proposals, learn how to develop a management system for ...more
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If considering writing a grant for iPods or iPads, then this is a site not to miss. View examples of grant proposals, learn how to develop a management system for your new acquisition, integrate the iPod or iPad into curriculum, and examine the results others schools have had. There are many resources to explore at this site! The resources here explain how to set-up multiple iPods or iPads, provide syncing tips, directions on how to create meta-playlists, manage school-wide podcast files, create digital portfolios, and practices that will enhance reading fluency. Much of the content may apply to other brands of tablets, as well. Impressive presentations and teacher reflections are free for download. View the hard data of previous school grant results in the form of bar graphs, pie charts, and line graphs. These all clearly demonstrate the positive effect iPods/tablets can have on reading fluency, state standardized tests and ENGAGEMENT! This is also an excellent resource to use when creating dynamic presentations meant to bolster support for innovative programming.

tag(s): grants (19)

In the Classroom

This blog provides examples of grants that serve as wonderful models when writing your own. Most of the examples on this blog are for the iPod touch, but many of the same concepts pertain to iPad use or other tablets as well. Librarians or IT directors will want to access this site for valuable background information on how to manage the maintenance and circulation of e-readers, iPods, iPads, or other tablets. If outside funding or school support is an issue, look beyond the tool and examine their instructional practices. Much of the grant success is due to incorporation of voice recording. Consider having students record their reading or writing by using some of the free web resources TeacherFirst suggests such as PodOmatic reviewed here or Audio Pal reviewed here. Examine how these grants use multitasking in the classroom. Consider using audio books while students engage in less cognitively demanding tasks. ESL/ELL instructors will find the lesson examples and results valuable.
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S.M.A.R.T. Books! - Kansas State University

Grades
K to 9
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This site offers an extensive list of children's literature to use with Mathematical investigations. The database has easy to use searches categorized by grade level, math strand, participants...more
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This site offers an extensive list of children's literature to use with Mathematical investigations. The database has easy to use searches categorized by grade level, math strand, participants (lesson creators), book authors, and a complete index. Be sure to check other grade level lesson plans as there may be lessons there that can be modified to meet your students' needs. Most lesson plans include materials needed and optional extensions or activities to go along with the lesson.

tag(s): literature (275), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Search for literature to use with math lessons to make lessons more interesting and add cross-curricular connections. Use the lesson plans to supplement your current lessons. Share possible literature books with parents via your class website.

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Stories for Kids - Pitara Kids Network

Grades
4 to 7
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This is a great source for simple, short, and interesting children's stories. The international focus draws the attention of a variety of readers. The display opening page has ten stories...more
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This is a great source for simple, short, and interesting children's stories. The international focus draws the attention of a variety of readers. The display opening page has ten stories of about two pages each, but there are over 10 other pages all containing an equal number of stories. These are "text only" reading stories and some are rather difficult to follow, as there are advertisements throughout the page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): short stories (25)

In the Classroom

Keep this site in mind when you have a few minutes at the end of the day. Read one together and then set your students at computers in pairs to take turns reading aloud to each other.

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WorksheetWorks - WorksheetWorks.com

Grades
K to 12
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The goal of this site is to provide the finest quality paper-based teaching materials to teachers and parents around the world. Myriads of options are available to create worksheets...more
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The goal of this site is to provide the finest quality paper-based teaching materials to teachers and parents around the world. Myriads of options are available to create worksheets in Math, English, Geography, Puzzles, and Miscellaneous. Just choose a subject, then a topic, and choose from options offered to create your own worksheet that can be printed in pdf form. This allows the worksheet to be shown clearly on interactive whiteboards eliminating the need to print each creation. Although it was created for teachers, a more useful purpose may be for students to create their own worksheets to share with other students or for self-practice.

tag(s): printables (38), puzzles (208), worksheets (60)

In the Classroom

Use this site to differentiate for students of all levels by allowing students to create their own worksheet for practice or review. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center - students can then create their own individualized practice.

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News English Lessons - Sean Banville

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, created by Australian Sean Banville of "Breaking News English" (reviewed here), has high interest, "easier" news for students to read and...more
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This site, created by Australian Sean Banville of "Breaking News English" (reviewed here), has high interest, "easier" news for students to read and many teaching materials to go with them. Though the look of the site is cluttered with advertising and plain text, the content is worthwhile. Developed for ESL/ELL students and teachers, the site would also work well in a subject area, learning support, or reading classroom. There are MANY articles "ready to go," including mp3 audio files to listen to the articles. At the time of this review there were 200+ new additions! Each article includes several types of activities such as "online gap fill" (a Cloze reading activity), vocabulary flashcards, and hangman, and matching. A full script is available in pdf form. There is also an online, interactive quiz for students. The articles, and a lot more activities, can be downloaded and printed, too.
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tag(s): diseases (66), listening (91), news (261)

In the Classroom

The articles are short and interesting, a perfect match for non-fiction reading comprehension. With so many different activities to choose from, it will be easy for the classroom teacher to differentiate. There is an mp3 audio version of each article so students can listen as they read. Assign small groups of students to present the news each week, using the interactive whiteboard to show others the country and city from which the article originated. Make the newscasting experience even more real by having students read scripts of these news stories or their own original stories using a Easyprompter, reviewed here. Students can then go to another news source such as "Mapeas" (reviewed here) and click on the country of origin to see what else is happening in the news there. For a project, have the small groups create a "talking map" using a site such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (where their article/story took place). What a fabulous way to share the article with the rest of the class!

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Speak Up - Cartoon Network

Grades
2 to 8
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"Speak Up" is a straightforward cartoon-creator site meant to teach the importance of character, setting, problem, and solution. The site provides possible characters, settings, and...more
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"Speak Up" is a straightforward cartoon-creator site meant to teach the importance of character, setting, problem, and solution. The site provides possible characters, settings, and conflicts from which students can choose. Creating cartoons is an effective way to teach students how to write stories with a clear storyline and structure. The story problem section allows students to write in their own scenarios. Students are responsible for creating the solution to the story problem themselves. Each cartoon strip contains six boxes, allows two characters per page, and speaking bubbles as well as narrative box across the bottom of the page.

tag(s): bullying (52), comics and cartoons (74), creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Use "Speak Up" as part of a mini-lesson about problem and solution or dialogue. Have students create their own cartoons as part of a craft lesson. Print out the cartoon and students can use it as an outline to help them write narrative text or plays. Demonstrate how to combine narration with dialogue in one text from this cartoon outline.

Use scenarios of social conflicts your class may be facing or are currently discussing in character education. For example, use bullying or peer pressure issues. Pair up classmates to re-tell a conflict similar to those students face during recess, in class, or from home. Together they can discuss ways to solve these conflicts. Use the results to open up dialogue about student issues and as a tool to brainstorm constructive ways to solve them.

World language teachers or ESL/ELL teachers can also use this tool for students to practice written dialog and appropriate social interaction.
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Snag Learnng - Snagfilms LLC

Grades
3 to 12
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Use SnagLearning to present high-quality documentaries to promote meaningful discussions in your classroom. Find great videos about many issues of today such as nuclear tipping point,...more
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Use SnagLearning to present high-quality documentaries to promote meaningful discussions in your classroom. Find great videos about many issues of today such as nuclear tipping point, the history of various forms of music, effects of desert winds, and more. Choose your subject matter from the tab along the top. Choose a grade level band as well to find videos appropriate for different age groups. Warning: as topics frequently change, be sure to preview before you share.
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tag(s): movies (65), twitter (50), video (254)

In the Classroom

Use videos in your subject area to inform students about the topic being studied. Share on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Consider using backchannel while viewing the documentary to allow students to express their feelings and thoughts. Try using the site "Get your students talking about what you want them to talk about" (reviewed here). Follow viewing with blog posts that include student reactions and topics related to what has been discussed in class.
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