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LITCHARTS - Get Lit - LitCharts

Grades
6 to 12
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LitCharts is an online site similar to the familiar Cliffs Notes but with their own spin. Charts are available for literary classics such as Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the ...more
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LitCharts is an online site similar to the familiar Cliffs Notes but with their own spin. Charts are available for literary classics such as Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the Flies, Jane Eyre, and several more. Charts can be viewed online, downloaded in a PDF file, or accessed through an iPhone app (apps are 99 cents each). Each chart offers a side by side summary and analysis of story events making events easier to follow and understand than typical summaries. In addition, they include a color coded theme tracker to help follow themes throughout the book. Each LitChart is 10 pages or less, making them concise and easy to use.
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tag(s): literature (275), summarizing (13)

In the Classroom

LitCharts is a great resource to use with ESL/ELL and intervention students to reinforce concepts in texts provided. It is also helpful for students who lack experience with challenging literary classic. Share a LitChart with your class when reading one of the books on the site then have students create their own LitChart for the next book or to improve on the ones offered here. Provide a link to LitCharts to students to use as a study resource for end of novel assessments. Hint: make sure any assessments you use ask questions that go beyond what these charts offer, or students will not even try to read the actual texts! An intriguing challenge would be to ask them what else they would include in a study guide for the work.
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Soungle - Southern Codes

Grades
5 to 12
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Royalty Free Sound Effects Library for Download by Soungle.com is a go-to resource to keep in your bookmarked favorites for easy, free downloads of sounds, and the best part ...more
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Royalty Free Sound Effects Library for Download by Soungle.com is a go-to resource to keep in your bookmarked favorites for easy, free downloads of sounds, and the best part is it is searchable! The sound effects are short, and there is no membership required. Cautionary advice would be to direct students to type in a search term and avoid clicking on word links which will actually lead away from the webpage.
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tag(s): sound (101), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Try sharing this resource with students when they are creating podcasts, slideshows, and other media projects. This would also be great for performance groups such as drama clubs or musicals that need sound effects. Very creative students might like to actually tell a story through nothing but sound effects. Have them try making a "sound rebus" story on your class wiki, with words and sound links to tell what happens. Download sound effects and add them, worry-free, to projects or productions. Make sure students realize that "royalty free" does not dismiss the need to give proper credit for their source!

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Epic Decide - EpicDecide.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Use this free and easy to use tool to make decisions quickly. Provide a question and options to choose from. View data and a make a decision based upon the ...more
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Use this free and easy to use tool to make decisions quickly. Provide a question and options to choose from. View data and a make a decision based upon the majority. Test the tool by trying the Instant Demo. Enter the answer to the following: "What would you like to vote on" and "The best options are the most"... Include as many options as are necessary. Click create the vote. Send the URL to others to read the options and make a choice. Click Settings to choose to update the acceptance of nominations. Click Results to see choices people have made. Be sure to keep the results page bookmarked in your Favorites to view the results. Results are not saved within an account.

tag(s): polls and surveys (48), quizzes (96)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to make choices on activities in class, what students feel about certain aspects of history or current events, or any other question where you want to offer options and collect votes. Use in clubs and organizations in school. Poll a class at the start (on iTouches) to see how they would have handled a difficult issue in history or as part of homework, have them predict what will happen in the next chapter of the novel the class is reading. Have students use the decision maker in a role play activity such as deciding whether or not your state should secede from the Union in 1861.

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A Google a Day - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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Here you will find a new question each day for your students to practice their web search skills. Some are as simple as "How many cubits tall is the ...more
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Here you will find a new question each day for your students to practice their web search skills. Some are as simple as "How many cubits tall is the structure that houses the ZIP code 10118?" and others are more complicated, such as "If you were a ferry passenger traveling from Continental Europe to the country with twice as many sheep as people, in what town would you most likely dock?" What a discussion starter for key words to use in THAT search! There is also an archive of questions you can get to by clicking on the colored numbers below the question of the day.

tag(s): logic (235), problem solving (272), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Use this after presenting some of the lessons from "Google Web Search for Educators" reviewed here. Once you've been through several of those lessons, why not use "A Google a Day" for a beginning of the class warm up or an end of the class exit activity. Once you've done this for a while, you might want to switch things up and have students write their own questions (related to curriculum, of course) to challenge their classmates.

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Google's: Help your students become better searchers - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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Find lesson plans and presentations to teach your students "how to search," all ready for your classroom. The lesson plans are divided up by category and ability level. There ...more
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Find lesson plans and presentations to teach your students "how to search," all ready for your classroom. The lesson plans are divided up by category and ability level. There are beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. The five main categories include: Picking the right search term, Understanding search results, Narrowing a search to get the best results, Searching for evidence for research tasks, and Evaluating credibility of sources. To access the lessons you MUST have a Google account. There are also current and past training sessions: Power Searching, Beyond the First Five, Creative Commons, When Time is Tight, and several others. These video clips are open to all and appropriate for various grade levels/subjects. There are also occasional contests listed on the site.

tag(s): creative commons (21), search engines (65), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

If you are planning an inquiry or research unit, this site would be a good starting point. These lessons could end up saving you class time, and your students won't become frustrated while looking for their research information. Present the first lesson using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Next, have your students try to search the answer for one of the more complicated questions on "A Google a Day" reviewed here. Once that is done, or students give up in frustration, have each student invest in their education by deciding if they need to complete the basic, intermediate, or advanced lesson for Understanding search results. Group students who need basic instruction together, intermediate together, etc. Let them work through the lessons on their own, helping each other. Once they have completed their lesson, have them test their skills on "A Google a Day" again reviewed here to see if they need to go on to the next set of lessons, i.e. intermediate or advanced, or if they can move on to the next lesson. View the video clips (Live Trainings) to freshen up your own knowledge or share them on your projector or interactive whiteboard with your students.
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Paper Rater - paperrater.com

Grades
6 to 12
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At Paper Rater you can check your grammar, detect plagiarism, and find writing suggestions all at one place. Use this site for sixth grade writing and above. With the free ...more
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At Paper Rater you can check your grammar, detect plagiarism, and find writing suggestions all at one place. Use this site for sixth grade writing and above. With the free version you are able to check for plagiarism, grammar, vocabulary, word choice and style (transitions). No login is required. PaperRater offers a premium version for a fee.

tag(s): book reports (35), editing (61), essays (21), grammar (216), plagiarism (35), proofreading (19), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to find their document and copy and paste into the correct fields. Follow the easy directions to determine grammar errors and create a better document. Use without a login or sign up.

Have students use Paper Rater to check their rough drafts. Have students work in pairs, as a peer review, to help each other improve their papers using the suggestions given by Paper Rater. Provide this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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Common Core Standards - Pearson Education, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Start investigating the world of common core Curriculum through Pearson education. Pearson Common Core standards website offers an introduction to Common Core standards, reading standards,...more
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Start investigating the world of common core Curriculum through Pearson education. Pearson Common Core standards website offers an introduction to Common Core standards, reading standards, math standards, and information on the transition to Common Core Curriculum. All but six states have adopted common Core standards and they will be transitioned into full use by 2014. Pearson currently employs several of the authors of common core curriculum. Free webinars offer information about introductions to common core, math and reading, and transitions into common core. Included on this site is a blog and parent information.
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tag(s): commoncore (94), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Begin your transition in to the world of Common Core Curriculum by starting with great webinars and resources. The webinars are very informational and give great insight. Find ways to begin to align your own teaching by offering more rigor and challenge. Stay in touch with the latest blogs on Common Core Information.
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WordTwist - PuzzleBaron

Grades
3 to 12
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WordTwist is an online version of the word game, Boggle. The idea is to create as many words as possible in the 4X4 or 5X5 grids. Play can be done ...more
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WordTwist is an online version of the word game, Boggle. The idea is to create as many words as possible in the 4X4 or 5X5 grids. Play can be done without registration; however, registration allows you to keep track of your scores and compare yourself to other players. Scores are based on the number and difficulty of words found on the game board. There are two versions of the game, a Flash version and one that doesn't require Flash.
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tag(s): game based learning (103), spelling (168), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Create accounts for your students and let them compete against each other for points. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here. Display this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to create words as a class. Challenge students to create lists of new words they learn from WordTwist.
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Melanie , KS, Grades: 0 - 12

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WordSift - Stanford University

Grades
4 to 12
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WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts -- just copy and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify ...more
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WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts -- just copy and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify important words that appear in the text. After entering text several items will appear, first a word cloud will display the 50 most frequently used words in the text. The most frequently used word will display as a word web in a visual thesaurus. Google image and video search results are also shown. One interesting feature is the ability to click on any of the words in the word cloud to display it in the thesaurus and Google image and video searches. A great way to understand the WordSift tool is to try one of the sample texts offered, such as Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Be sure to check out the "About" link to discover many ideas for use in the classroom. Tips and videos are also available as guides. If you type in a shorter sentence, the site still creates a word cloud using their own related words (not in your original text). Be aware of the advertisements that appear with the word clouds. Advise students not to click on the ads.
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tag(s): dictionaries (56), reading comprehension (116), reading strategies (45), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (125), word clouds (10), word study (80)

In the Classroom

This is a classic tool to promote "before reading" strategies and vocabulary development. Use WordSift to preview text to be used in class and define vocabulary before reading to increase reading comprehension. Have students use WordSift with different portions of text to identify key words and vocabulary for class presentations. Use WordSift to discuss different meanings of words using images presented through the site. This site isn't only for English teachers, share with Science and Social Studies teachers to use in their classrooms with reading texts in their content areas. ESL/ELL and learning support teachers will want to share this as a support for any reading assigned in regular classes. Be sure to show students how to copy/paste to WordSift texts from informational web pages and news stories on the web, as well. Share this link as a Favorite on your public page so students can use it anytime.

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Yudu - Yudu.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Yudu is more than an online library to read and explore. You can get your own writing published. It's as simple as uploading your PDF, Word, or PowerPoint document. These ...more
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Yudu is more than an online library to read and explore. You can get your own writing published. It's as simple as uploading your PDF, Word, or PowerPoint document. These are automatically turned into the Yudu page-turning format. You don't even have to register to read or listen to a book, magazine, podcast, or brochure. It's free. Aspiring authors can register and publish your writing here, for free. You can also publish digital content beyond digital magazines and brochures. You can publish podcasts, music, audio clips, and photos. You can use Yudu as a visual bookmarking program, too. Once registered, you can create a library to store, share, & promote your digital content. Share your digital, page-turning publications for free or you can keep them private for you, friends, and family. There is an introductory video to get you started. The Yudu "plus" version (for a fee) has additional features.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), ebooks (42), multimedia (56), news (261), podcasts (52)

In the Classroom

If you have a classroom newsletter, this would be the perfect place for you to publish it. You can then embed it on your website or wiki for parents and students to read.

If your class is studying a certain time period and/or area in the world, have your students produce brochures or newspapers (called a magazine on Yudu) using Yudu. Have your students create their brochure using Word, and then upload it to Yudu for a very polished look. You can then publish these by embedding them, or sharing the url on your wiki or webpage for your class and their parents to view.

In science or math students could make a small magazine with pictures to describe a concept or equation to their peers, to younger students, , or as a final assessment. Instead of a book report, create a Yudu! In English (or L.A.) have students write creative stories or step by step instructions and publish them via Yudu. At the beginning of the school-year, create a class Yudu introducing everyone in the class (name, favorite subject, favorite sport, highlight of their summer, etc..). Share the books with parents online or at Back to School Night.

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Old Radio World - OldRadioWorld.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Find a treasury of old radio shows from the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's. There are seven genres from which to choose (comedy, mystery, western, drama, etc..), and each genre has ...more
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Find a treasury of old radio shows from the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's. There are seven genres from which to choose (comedy, mystery, western, drama, etc..), and each genre has at least ten different old radio shows for your selection. There is a miscellaneous section that has such treasures as "Voices From History," "World War II News Broadcasts," and "Fireside Chat with Franklin D. Roosevelt." To listen to this program you will need to have QuickTime on your computer. Download of the mp3 files takes a while, so be patient.
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tag(s): 1930s (15), 1940s (13), 1950s (12), listening (91), oral history (12), radio (26), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

As a class, listen to a couple of radio shows, taking note about the sound effects heard. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to list the sounds. Have the class speculate about what objects could have created each sound. Post the radio site on your web page and assign the students to determine what household objects are responsible for the sounds for homework. Back in class the next day, use your interactive white board to share the student discoveries. From here it would be natural to have your students create a two or three minute radio show for a topic being studied in history or science. Students could also turn part of a short story into reader's theater (including sound effects) and record it as a radio broadcast. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).

Another idea would be to introduce a unit on the 20th century, the Great Depression, or WWII or by having the class listen to a broadcast from that time period. Have them experience radio as it was, with everyone huddled around to listen (and no multitasking!).Talk about how the changes in entertainment formats have changed the way we interact in our homes.

To hone in on listening skills, you could create a worksheet with questions to answer, or have students take two column notes, asking questions about what they are hearing in the left column.

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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 (33)

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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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.
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tag(s): logic (235), puzzles (208), vocabulary (323)

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 (83), 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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Learn English - Jacob Richman

Grades
1 to 8
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At this site students will learn to pronunce words correctly. Words appear in Spanish, French, Hebrew, Russian, Chinese, and English. The words are well organized according to categories,...more
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At this site students will learn to pronunce words correctly. Words appear in Spanish, French, Hebrew, Russian, Chinese, and English. The words are well organized according to categories, and the multilingual jumping off point is unique. Hear the word only or see images and hear the word using the video tab. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): chinese (48), french (88), hebrew (14), pronunciation (44), russian (26), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Besides using for world language classes and limited English speaking students, refer your students with speech difficulties to this site whose clear pronunciation is helpful.

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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.
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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.
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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 (42), 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 (135), 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 (42), 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.
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tag(s): quiz (84), quizzes (96), test prep (95)

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.
 

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