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Launch Pad Mag - Launchpad.com

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

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

In the Classroom

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

Comments

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

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ABCya - ABCYA.com, l.l.c,

Grades
K to 5
11 Favorites 0  Comments
  
ABCya.com, developed by a web developer turned computer teacher, aims to provide educational games and activities for elementary students. Nearly every subject is included. Simply click...more
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ABCya.com, developed by a web developer turned computer teacher, aims to provide educational games and activities for elementary students. Nearly every subject is included. Simply click on your grade level (K-5) and find what is available under language arts, math, and other subjects. Specific topics range from basic typing activities to creating word clouds to grammar games (at all levels) and so much more. The interactives are teacher approved and offer colorful and attention grabbing ways for learning. Opportunities for sharing on Facebook, tweeting, and sharing on social bookmarking sites are incorporated. This is a MUST SEE site for elementary teachers looking for some great practice sites for basic skills!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alphabet (92), decimals (133), drawing (78), fractions (239), game based learning (103), geometric shapes (163), keyboarding (38), latitude (13), literacy (103), longitude (13), number sense (97), numbers (204), operations (126), preK (279)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, demonstration how to use the specific tool/activity. Create a learning center AT the whiteboard or on individual laptops and allow students to try it out on their own. List this as a student and parent resource on your classroom website. Use this site to informally assess skills to tell you which students to allow to do alternative work or go ahead. Allow your gifted students to explore new concepts while providing necessary reinforcement for those learners that need a technology-inspired method to help master learning goals. This is an excellent tool for differentiating. Provide as an anticipatory guide for new units.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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VoiceThread - VoiceThread

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

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

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), speech (92)

In the Classroom

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

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

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

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Free English Lessons Online - esolcourses.com

Grades
2 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
At this site you will find free interactive listening activities, reading exercises, quizzes, and more. Though developed with the ESL/ELL teacher and student in mind, any language arts...more
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At this site you will find free interactive listening activities, reading exercises, quizzes, and more. Though developed with the ESL/ELL teacher and student in mind, any language arts teacher will find activities here to help differentiate language skills in your classroom. This is an extensive site with several levels in each language arts strand. Every strand and level also has numerous activities to choose from.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): grammar (216), listening (91), reading comprehension (116), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

You may want to complete some of the selections with a projector and your interactive whiteboard for the whole class as there are listening activities, reading activities and quizzes about holidays, etc. You could differentiate by having small groups of students or individuals listening and reading at their different levels while you work with another group, or small groups of students can listen at a station that is one of several literacy stations in your classroom. Since each of the selections has activities in several language arts strands, one selection could make up your student's instruction for the day, or week. Students could rotate through a station for listening, one for vocabulary development, etc.

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Starship - BBC

Grades
3 to 6
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Following the metaphor of a growing plant, this site helps budding writers create original stories. In an interactive box, students select from several visual choices to create the...more
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Following the metaphor of a growing plant, this site helps budding writers create original stories. In an interactive box, students select from several visual choices to create the parts of their stories. Audio prompts tell the students what to do, and when their selection is made, a voice reads the newly created sentence as the story grows. After adding each sentence, writers hear the directions to click on the watering can to add more sentences. Before selecting from the four choices, writers can hold the cursor over each to see what the resulting sentence will be. As students go through the writing process, the audio support, a firefly, reminds them of what parts they have already selected, i.e., who, what, where, etc. At certain points during the writing, the process stops, and the firefly shows and reads the story as it has been written up to that point. After the story is read, you can print it, read it again, or write a new story. This site was created by the BBC, so you my notice some slight differences in pronunciations.

tag(s): narrative (24), writing (358), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

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

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Storybooks - Where Did the River Go

Grades
K to 4
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create your own books for reading on the computer or printing, and test your reading skills with this interactive site. On the main screen are two different stories to choose ...more
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Create your own books for reading on the computer or printing, and test your reading skills with this interactive site. On the main screen are two different stories to choose from (The Journey To Darkest Somewhere or The House of Scary Words). Once you choose a story the fun begins! As each page turns, see options to personalize the characters and text. Click to drag new objects (pictures) into the story. Personalize the story with your own name. All of the red words/phrases can be changed. At the end of the story, choose to print the story or save to pdf. Along with the stories, there are other key components of the site, one of which is the section entitled "Scared of Words," tips for parents to help students with reading. There is a video skills quiz to help identify any weaknesses parents may have in reading skills, reasons for reading, hints and tips for helping children read, and links to online book resources. This site was developed in the United Kingdom, so you may notice a few spelling/vocabulary differences (for example, potato chips are referred to as "crisps.")

tag(s): book lists (126), literacy (103), reading comprehension (116), reading strategies (44)

In the Classroom

Share this site during Literacy nights at school as a resource parents can use at home when helping their students read. Share the site with ESL/ELL and Special Education teachers as a resource. Create a link on classroom computers, and have students create their own stories to print into a classroom book. Use this site to demonstrate how a passage will change through use of different verbs and nouns.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Visual Recipes - Visual Recipes

Grades
3 to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
Teach students about foods, measurement, or nutrition, and find great recipes at Visual Recipes. View a picture of each step of the recipe as you read the directions. English language...more
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Teach students about foods, measurement, or nutrition, and find great recipes at Visual Recipes. View a picture of each step of the recipe as you read the directions. English language learners and new learners to foods will find this a great resource.

tag(s): cooking (34), nutrition (154), sequencing (31), visual thinking (10), visualizations (14)

In the Classroom

Choose recipes to create a menu that meets all of the requirements of the new USDA "MyPlate." Analyze a typical dish to look at calories and the breakdown of the nutrients. Be a food scientist, choosing recipes that are examples of different types of solutions (homogeneous and heterogeneous) or basic chemical reactions. Encourage healthy eating, ethnic exploration through foods, and many other topics with these easy to follow pictures and directions. World language teachers will love this visual approach to foods in another culture and can ask students to "narrate" a visual recipe in the new language while presenting on interactive whiteboard or projector. Use visual recipes to teach sequencing for writing about step by step process using words like "first, then, next." Challenge cooperative learning groups to make their own slideshow/recipe for a favorite dish of their choice using a site such as 280Slides (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Kathleen, VT, Grades: 0 - 12

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Youblisher.com - Youblisher

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Have you ever wanted to share your class books online? Youblisher offers a wonderful, visual method for uploading pdf's to an online location and making them look like pages turning...more
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Have you ever wanted to share your class books online? Youblisher offers a wonderful, visual method for uploading pdf's to an online location and making them look like pages turning in a book. If you don't create with Acrobat, not to worry! You just need to scan your documents to convert them to a pdf file. Once you know how to generate pdf files, you are ready to go. Explore whether your computer can "print" to pdf files or learn how to use the scanner. If you use a Mac, the option to "print" from your word processor or other program to pdf is built right in. Once you have a file as pdf, upload the files to this site. Youblisher makes your files flippable like the pages of an interactive book. You receive a link (url) to add to your website. Check out the introductory video on the homepage. Students, teachers, and parents (and grandparents) will all love seeing classroom creations in this easy to view format.

tag(s): book reports (36), digital storytelling (142)

In the Classroom

Share interactive books created online for students to read at learning centers. Create a lesson via pdf files and share it on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Scan/convert and save students complete research projects, upload the pdf's as a way to share all information. Create a class book, or newsletter, including images, and upload the pdf "book" or newsletter to Youblisher. Then include the the url on your website to share with friends and family. Challenge students to create their own books (in cooperative learning groups) about a specific topic being taught in class. Have upper elementary or middle school students create online "little buddy books" they can share online with lower grade classrooms. If your interactive whiteboard program generates pdf files from in-class activities, why not share them in flippable form on your class web site for review or absentees?

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Phrasemix - Aaron Knight

Grades
3 to 12
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This blog teaches English to international students by offering a "phrase a day." Common words and phrases are explained in context; several examples of each usage make the meaning...more
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This blog teaches English to international students by offering a "phrase a day." Common words and phrases are explained in context; several examples of each usage make the meaning clear. Many of the situations described are those experienced by adults or older teens, not children, such as giving a speech or shopping alone. Of course, this site could also be used in a regular classroom to teach speech/language or grammar. Students can look at the site or have a phrase emailed to them every day. Phrases include commonly used groups of words, idioms, and other typical language of both casual and formal English. To find a list of all phrases in the system, students can click on "Learning Tools." In addition to an index, this section offers explanations of basic grammar terms like parts of speech, stress, and other conversation techniques. Students can also make comments and read the comments of others. No email address is required to comment on the blog posts. (Our reviewers found no objectionable comments from the public, but teachers should always preview.)

tag(s): idioms (44), phrases (6), slang (15)

In the Classroom

Put this link on your classroom blog or newsletter for English learners. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. Have students prepare online projects about phrases they learn, using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard reviewed here or PicLits (reviewed here). Check with your school policies before having students comment on other blog posts.

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ESL Holidays Lessons - Sean Banville

Grades
1 to 8
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Quiz Revolution - QuizRevolution

Grades
2 to 12
11 Favorites 0  Comments
 
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 (99), 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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iPod user group Wiki - Joe Morelock

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
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.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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National TESOL Standards: Online Edition - TESOL

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Read the national TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of other languages) standards for ESL. Of particular interest are the Sample Progress Indicators and scenarios that decribe...more
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Read the national TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of other languages) standards for ESL. Of particular interest are the Sample Progress Indicators and scenarios that decribe differeing levels of proficiency for ESL/ELL students you may find in your classroom. THIS SITE OPENS SLOWLY Please be patient. TeachersFirst has more information on how you may want to use ESL/ELL levels and tips for working with these students.

tag(s): differentiation (47)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on your classroom desktop to allow for easy reference later on!

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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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Independence Day Around the World - Chartsbin

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers an interactive world map showing Independence Day dates from around the world. You simply hover the cursor over any country that was formerly a colony to see ...more
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This site offers an interactive world map showing Independence Day dates from around the world. You simply hover the cursor over any country that was formerly a colony to see the date of its independence from that country. All countries that used to be part of Great Britain are the same color; color coding for other former empires indicates the empire's former holdings. Data comes from reliable government and other statistical sources. At the bottom of the page, related charts that may be of interest show: Father's Day around the World, Mother's Day around the World, Halloween Celebrations around the world and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): colonial america (107), holidays (147), july 4th (9)

In the Classroom

Keep this site in mind as a reference source when students study world cultures or foreign languages. Challenge students to use this site to create research projects about individual (free) nations around the world. Have individual students or cooperative learning groups create a multimedia presentation using a tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map of the country they researched (with audio stories and pictures included)!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Happy Valentine's Day in Different Languages - Chartsbin

Grades
2 to 12
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This "visualization" is an interactive chart showing the world map. Various ways to say Happy Valentine's Day pop up in different languages as the student mouses over any participating...more
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This "visualization" is an interactive chart showing the world map. Various ways to say Happy Valentine's Day pop up in different languages as the student mouses over any participating country. If a country is multi-lingual, all of the country's language translations appear. Many languages appear in their own script. Data comes from reliable government and other statistical sources. Check out the bottom of the page for more interactive maps on other topics such as space travel.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): holidays (147), valentines day (14)

In the Classroom

Use this interactive map as an example of how to create a graph in an interesting and unique way. To show what they can compile with other similar holidays, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. Or have them create an online map showing the same data using a mapping tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here). Use this map as a jumping off point for ESL/ELL students to talk about other holidays from their cultures.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Aesop's Fables - Adapted by U Mass students/Aesop

Grades
K to 8
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This charming site (created as a project by University of Massachusetts students) offers Aesop Fables online! The students have reformatted and illustrated the traditional Aesop Fables;...more
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This charming site (created as a project by University of Massachusetts students) offers Aesop Fables online! The students have reformatted and illustrated the traditional Aesop Fables; the project is ongoing, having started in 1994. Today, some of the stories are simply text, while others use FLASH and are more interactive, and some even include audio.

tag(s): animation (63), folktales (65)

In the Classroom

Share these stories on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Set up a learning station using these fables (and headsets, if necessary.) Use these illustrated stories as models for your computer students to illustrate their choice of children's stories and collect a class anthology on the web. Challenge your students to narrate a photo and read the story/fable using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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.
This site includes advertising.

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 (142), 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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Roy Tale of a Singing Zebra - Tim Bowerbank

Grades
K to 4
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This site offers interactive stories and reading activities for free. Colorful graphics interest "emerging readers." The songs and reading support materials provide reinforcement of...more
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This site offers interactive stories and reading activities for free. Colorful graphics interest "emerging readers." The songs and reading support materials provide reinforcement of the reading skills being learned. Each story comes with pre-reading and post-reading questions and other word attack and grammar activities. Word games are fun and introduce early reading techniques such as alphabetization and phonetics. Since the site is Australian made, some of the worksheets use British names for grammar components, such as full stop for period. Since the text of the stories appears before the stories, this site would work well with ESL students too.

tag(s): guided reading (47), literacy (103), sight words (37), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

This site is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have the students open the site and use the whiteboard tools to enjoy the story and its follow up activities. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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