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After the Deluge - Smith Magazine

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This issue of Smith Magazine features an online graphic novel of the events of Hurricane Katrina and its effects on New Orleans and related communities. Since there are very few ...more
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This issue of Smith Magazine features an online graphic novel of the events of Hurricane Katrina and its effects on New Orleans and related communities. Since there are very few words, it's perfect for students of all ages and English ability levels. The drawings are in chronological order and include weather pictures and before and after pictures, as well as specific events of the hurricane.

Warning: Be sure to PREVIEW each section before you show it to the class since there is some profanity in the speech of some characters.

tag(s): graphic novels (7), hurricanes (35), novels (24)

In the Classroom

In light of the increase of hurricane activity, this is a wonderful resource to introduce this weather topic. Use it also in art class, graphic design, and with ESL and ELL students learning to tell stories. Use this site to introduce the world of graphic novels to students who are reluctant readers. Have your class make their own graphic novel about another catastrophic or historical event, either in groups or individually. Check with your administration to be sure it's OK to use this site at student computers since there are spaces for students to respond and also to submit their own work. If that's a problem, use it with your classroom computer and project the novel on the whiteboard (avoiding scenes with questionable vocabulary). Extend the lesson by having students create their own collaborative graphic account of a local history event or fictional tale in small groups.

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Pixlr - Pixlr

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This free, beta site is a useful photo editing service. Edited pictures are saved on the computer and are not public for viewing. Use this site to create montaged ...more
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This free, beta site is a useful photo editing service. Edited pictures are saved on the computer and are not public for viewing. Use this site to create montaged images, resize photos for emailing or use on wikis, etc, or simply because your camera files are too big to store.

tag(s): editing (61)

In the Classroom

Know how to browse to find files saved on your computer and be willing to "play" with the tools and menus, if you are unfamiliar with photo-editors.

Click Jump In to access Photoshop-type tools. Select an image saved on your computer or your desktop or create a new one. Currently, pictures cannot be accessed from online photo storage sites. The top menu contains almost any option the average user would need to edit and manipulate pictures. The menu is easy to navigate and read. Help is minimal at this time. The site is easy to use, and users of other paint and editing applications will be at ease using this site. Students will love the filter options for altering pictures. Multiple images can be edited or "montaged." When editing is complete, save the image by specifying an image name and file type (JPEG or PNG). Click "OK," and the file will be downloaded to your machine. The simple interface and fast site makes this a great editing application to try.

Use this site to add information to pictures for class and student projects and creations. Add attributions (copyright info and sources) directly to the photo. Add student responses to pictures of class experiments. Create artistic effects with student pictures. The ideas for picture taking, creating, and sharing are endless. Make this a link from your class wiki so students can cut down file sizes before uploading large photos or make edited composites to communicate their message visually. As you study propaganda, have students create propaganda images to share on a class wiki or classroom bulletin board. Art teachers will love the ability to teach photo montage without expensive software. Make creative bulletin board displays from multiple digital pictures of special events, adding text and captions right into the photo. ESL/ELL, language, and special ed teachers can ask students to label images with sentences including correct vocabulary and grammar. Have students in your reading class create visual idiom images using digital pictures.

Keep this tool handy as a link from your teacher web page for quick access any time!

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Animated English Idioms - in2English

Grades
5 to 12
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Animated English Idioms has a series of fairly high level English idioms explained. Each idiom is first illustrated with a cartoon video. Then the definition of the idiom ...more
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Animated English Idioms has a series of fairly high level English idioms explained. Each idiom is first illustrated with a cartoon video. Then the definition of the idiom appears. Students can replay it or return to the first screen to see another idiom illustrated. To return to the main page click on the English Idioms link at the top of the page. After watching the first two pages of idioms, students can select idiom activities: drag and drop review of idioms. Access the idioms activities (designated by letters) by simply clicking on the small number (1), (2), (3), or (4) at the bottom of the page. These exercises are. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): idioms (44), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Assign this site to your ESL and ELL or language arts students so they can learn one new idiom each day or as an assignment during your idioms unit. Or display the idioms on an interactive whiteboard or projector at the beginning of class. Challenge your students to figure out what the idiom means, before you share the definition available at the site. Have your students create their own idioms using pictures and words. Why not put them on an idiom wiki?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Listen and Write - listenandwrite.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Listen and Write is a listening/dictation site that allows ESL and ELL students to click on their choice of oral transmissions and then write the words they hear in ...more
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Listen and Write is a listening/dictation site that allows ESL and ELL students to click on their choice of oral transmissions and then write the words they hear in a box. Clicking the play button will repeat the sentence. There are also choices for hints or a version that provides a separate text box for each word, helping listeners to distinguish and separate the words they hear. When students write the correct sentence, a red "good" appears at the end of the line. Students can submit their own oral recordings as part of the bank of recorded items. Many of the items they can do dictation to come from VOA news. Students can also select other languages for dictation: Korean, Basque, Estonian, and Hebrew. Dictations are available at a total of 16 levels. Students must sign in and establish an account in order to save their scores, share and save audios, and collaborate with others on dictations or audio recordings.

tag(s): spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Check school policies about establishing a "class" log in with an official email address instead of having the students use their own. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Refer students to improve their oral comprehension or applied spelling skills at this site. Teacers can also create or assign recordings for required listening and dictation, differentiating for each student's level. There are some French recordings that could be used in a world language class, as well. Why not have your students create their own recordings to challenge their classmates?

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YAKiToMe - YAKiToMe

Grades
1 to 12
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This site converts text to speech. Students or teachers can choose which voice they'd like to hear read the text. As they listen to the oral version of whatever they've ...more
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This site converts text to speech. Students or teachers can choose which voice they'd like to hear read the text. As they listen to the oral version of whatever they've pasted into the box, keywords for the text appear in a box below the play button. Select to keep your new oral files private or make them public, using the podcast library option. Download files to an MP3 player or wav file. Students can also convert and listen to files in Spanish, French, and German, all with a variety of readers. Registration for the service is simple and free. A useful option for ESL and ELL students is the ability to control the speed of the speech being read.

This site requires registration (with an email address and user name). The registration page says that the site is available "by invitation only," however our reviewers found that we were able to register. This site requires Windows Media Player. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): french (88), german (64), listening (91), pronunciation (44), spanish (108), speech (92), text to speech (16)

In the Classroom

Use this site to tape read-alongs for reluctant readers, ESL, or ELL students. This site is especially useful for ESL, ELL, speech, world language, and special education classrooms. Have your students use initials or assign logical pseudonyms (Ex. MsGper2-12, MsGper2-13, etc.) for their user names. Keep your own record of their user names and passwords for accountability in case there are any problems. Make this site available on classroom computers with ear phones for any time students want to hear something read.

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TeacherTube - Teacher Tube, LLC

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Move over YouTube! Teachers now have their own place to learn and to teach: TeacherTube.com. Since this site is designed specifically for education, there is not as much concern about...more
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Move over YouTube! Teachers now have their own place to learn and to teach: TeacherTube.com. Since this site is designed specifically for education, there is not as much concern about "public" contributions and appropriateness for school! Teachers will find videos suitable for classroom instruction, such as Ben Franklin chatting with a group of students, or there are also professional videos ideal for staff training (such as Classroom Strategies for Differentiated Instruction). Search and view videos or click on the subject area that interests you, and then click on a video to view. To leave comments, save your favorites, or upload your own video, you will need to register. It's all free. Obviously, this isn't a site for students; however, there are many educational videos suitable for all subject areas that you could share with your students. If your school blocks streaming video sites, consider accessing this site and choosing videos at home, using a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube to bring them in for class use.

tag(s): video (253)

In the Classroom

If you are looking for a specific topic, save time and use the search option If you wish to add comments or upload your own Teachertube video, you must register as a user at the site. Create and save your edited videos where you can find them on your computer. (Windows Movie Maker or iMovie are great, free tools for video). Then upload to TeacherTube. You will also receive comments on your uploaded videos. If the teacher is the one uploading, the only potential concerns include posting videos with identifiable information or images about your students, school, or class. Check your school policies about posting pictures of your school. If you post student videos, obtain written parent permission to post student work, again within school policies. Any student visible in a video should also have parent permission in accordance with school policies. The most common classroom use would be viewing many videos that match curriculum content. Rap math, visit Anne Frank's historical locations, or view a grammar lesson--these are just a sampling of videos that you may want to use to enhance your curriculum lessons. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share the videos with the class. Use the site's videos as an anticipatory set to a new unit or lesson on a specific topic. Have your students create their own TeacherTube video together as a class on any lesson/topic that you are teaching. Have a contest for the best videos and upload the winners to the site (within school policies, of course). Once the class has videos hosted at TeacherTube, you can also embed them in your class bog or wiki for easy sharing with those in your extended online "community."

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Style and Diction Checker - Edit Central

Grades
1 to 12
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This is a simple, user-friendly, interactive web page for checking writing samples and readability levels. Type, or cut and paste, text into a specified location and watch the analysis...more
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This is a simple, user-friendly, interactive web page for checking writing samples and readability levels. Type, or cut and paste, text into a specified location and watch the analysis begin. The analysis consists of several readability scores such as Flesch reading ease, Automated readability index, Flesch-Kincaid grade level, Coleman-Liau index, Gunning fog index, and SMOG index. The site also provides total counts for the following items: characters, non-space characters, letters/numbers, words, complex words, syllables, sentences, characters per word, syllables per word, and words per sentence.

tag(s): readability (8)

In the Classroom

This site can be helpful in a variety of ways. Primary and secondary classroom teachers can check students' work or have students check their personal work by placing their own text in the box. Reading specialists, classroom teachers, ESL and ELL teachers, and special education teachers can check readability levels of various books to find the right fit for each student. E-books and on-line literature is easy to check with the cut and paste option! Note: if the text is available as a complete web page, you can also use this tool. Student word processing can also be analyzed using the Grammar tools in Word (tools menu), but these two tools yield slightly different information.

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MeGlobe - Telestic, Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
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IM or AIM on steroids? That is how MeGlobe describes itself. This site allows the user to instant message to people who speak many different languages. While they may be ...more
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IM or AIM on steroids? That is how MeGlobe describes itself. This site allows the user to instant message to people who speak many different languages. While they may be adding languages as the site builds, at the time of this review, Spanish, Dutch, Chinese, German and Greek are supported. This is a BETA site, so forgive a few wording problems as it refines the languages. Sign-up is quick and free. Once registered, you can invite people from all over the world to chat with you in nearly instant response time. The world definitely comes to your classroom via MeGlobe.

tag(s): chat (51), chinese (48), german (64), greek (41), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Classroom applications abound. Imagine your class chatting with pen pals in Crete or Amsterdam, and asking them current events questions. Imagine practicing foreign language skills using this tool. Send messages to experts in other countries as your class researches their culture. Travel around the world virtually, through discussions with other classrooms in foreign countries. Use two laptops and you and your ESL or ELL student can chat while learning each other's language, since all translations are on screen. Caution: As with all instant messaging, you would want to only talk with pre-approved people. This is not a program you would want your students to use unsupervised. There are forums, a blog, and chats already set up (look in your "room drawer" after you log in). Preview these to select the best venue for your class' purposes. Since the site requires a membership, you will most likely want to use a single class account so you can monitor how it is being used and avoid inappropriate contacts. If you do use student accounts, check your school policies on using student email to register and make sure classroom use is within approved school policy. This beta is constantly adding new features. Check the blog for the latest.

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Wordle - Jonathan Feinberg

Grades
2 to 12
17 Favorites 1  Comments
 
This site takes any quotation or poem and creates a "word cloud" (graphical display) of the words in a passage of text. Paste in any passage or the URL for ...more
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This site takes any quotation or poem and creates a "word cloud" (graphical display) of the words in a passage of text. Paste in any passage or the URL for any blog entry or web page (including newspapers online) to create a wordle of the text. If you make a Wordle, you can choose your own colors, type of display, and font. The most frequent words appear larger and darker. Students can view creations others have made or make their own with or without saving them to the database of clouds. You can also print creations, open them in a window without borders, or link to them from a home page (html code is provided for the link). This site requires Java. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page. However, this site is now a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), speech (92), vocabulary (324), word choice (26), word clouds (10)

In the Classroom

You need to know how to copy/paste. No email registration needed to create. Click Create to get started. Copy/paste text, type into a text box, or paste in the URL of the page you wish to "cloud." Play with options under Layout, Color, and Font menus to change the look. When done, choose to Print, take a screen shot of it in New Window view (PrntScrn on Windows, Command+shift+4 on Mac) or save to public gallery. Once it opens in the gallery view, be sure to copy the URL and keep a record of the exact URL of wordles you save to the Gallery. You will never be able to find them again without it! Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have.

The public can enter text and create their own Wordles, some of which appear on the home page for "recent" Wordles. Teachers should preview the Gallery and home page immediately before sharing this site with a class. TeachersFirst's review team has not witnessed any objectionable examples. In today's world, a brief lesson or honest discussion on ignoring, clicking out of, or avoiding the inappropriate on the web might be worthwhile, depending on the age and maturity of your students.

This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create wordles of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize text, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or reading passages of great literature to "see" themes and motifs of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language.

Another idea: use this site during the first week of school. Have students create "Wordles" about themselves and create a "Wordle" bulletin board introducing your students (and yourself). Or use Worlde for a whole-class positive statement as shown in this example. Remember that the most frequently appearing words will appear larger so plan accordingly.

Comments

So versatile and easy to use. Needs supervision because of what some people post in the galleries. Kids find it very easy to use. Nice for quick analysis of text (love to use with Shakespeare). Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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LingQ - LingQ

Grades
3 to 12
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LingQ assists students in developing language fluency in any of 9 target languages including German, Spanish, French, Italian, Swedish, Japanese, and Chinese, Russian, and Portuguese....more
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LingQ assists students in developing language fluency in any of 9 target languages including German, Spanish, French, Italian, Swedish, Japanese, and Chinese, Russian, and Portuguese. It tracks hours spent on listening and reading assignments, vocabulary development etc. An example lesson consists of listening to a text while reading through it, clicking on unknown words, seeing the definition in one's native language, saving the words in a list or as flashcards etc. Students can also download the audio files to an MP3 player. Students should have at least a beginning understanding of the language before attempting to use this site. They also need to be flexible learners since the learning/teaching style is based on immersion, not translation. Students may have up to 5 active "assignments" going to stay within the free level. Any completed work can be archived to make room for more assignments. There is a charge to have your work evaluated, graded, and critiqued. There is an option to save new vocabulary words in a list and print flashcards for these words. You will want to join and explore the site before assigning students to use it so you know how to navigate. The site requires a fast Internet connection to download large podcast (audio) files. The podcast files can be downloaded and played on your local computer or an mp3 player.

tag(s): podcasts (52), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Establishing membership requires an email account. Check your school policies about accessing/sharing student email on school computers. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Assign specific "lessons" for your ESL or world language students, but be aware that the free version does not permit you to monitor progress on student accounts. You therefore will want to use this as a practice site more than a formal assessment tool. Demonstrate the navigation on your projector or interactive whiteboard before assigning students to work independently. If you have mp3 players available, you can load a listening assignment for students to "take out." Be sure to include this site on your teacher web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Refer your ESL students to this page if they are impatient to become fluent quickly.

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Pixton - Goodinson Design Inc.

Grades
4 to 12
11 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create comics quickly and easily with this free site! Choose starting scenes, add new frames, change characters and add text. At this site, students can create, share, and "remix" comics....more
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Create comics quickly and easily with this free site! Choose starting scenes, add new frames, change characters and add text. At this site, students can create, share, and "remix" comics. The "remix" link allows students to add their own twist to ready-made comics. Students can read comics created by others and also make comments on them. Other highlights of the site include a featured author and blog. The free version of Pixton is open to the public. There is also a fee-based version for schools (with teacher and student registration levels and safety tools) with a 30-day free trial period available. Be aware: the Pixton for Schools (if continued after 30-days) will cost $1 per student. See an example created by the TeachersFirst Edge team.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), graphic novels (7), novels (24)

In the Classroom

Simply login and click create. Choose a scene you wish to start with. Change your characters from a variety of option. When the comic loads, your chosen character may not show immediately but will appear as you edit each frame. Change sizes of caption bubbles, fonts sizes and types with easy to use sliders. New characters can be added in each frame as well as a variety of additional props such as sports equipment and furniture. Change the background set to a variety of indoor, outdoor city, and outdoor country landscapes. Change background colors easily too. Comics can be saved, scenes can be deleted, and changes made can be reverted to the previous idea easily with on screen controls. Below the comic, buttons for "Save for later" and "Publish Now" quickly save or publish works. If the scene is not ready for publishing, Pixton requests further edits to complete the process.

Consider creating a class account that students can use. Track comics made by students by placing initials in a small caption bubble to identify created comics to a specific student. There are some safeguards in place to be sure students use appropriate language and actions. It would be wise to preview whatever you wish to share with your students, however, since the general public can create comics with their own ideas. Students should submit their work without identifiable names and location, according to your school policy. You will also want written parent permission before allowing students to create comics that can be seen online.

Capture and use your students creativity in storytelling using this exciting tool! Using small amounts of texts to frame a story or to deliver information creatively allows students the opportunity to work deeply with information and use a creative outlet for a variety of projects. Use for students to provide information learned with personal thoughts on subjects ranging from historical events, environmental issues, discussion about plants, animals, and ecosystems, as well as other topics in Art, Math, English, Health, and others. Use in Foreign language classes for short stories created in the language and translated then by other students in the classroom. Use comics to write summaries of current events, responses to reading assignments, expressions of teen problems, and creative works of humor. With younger students, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to create a class comic on a current topic of study, such as the life cycle of the frog or ways to conserve energy. Use this site to integrate an art and writing lesson. Why not have students create comics to demonstrate a concept in science or social studies, rather than a traditional paper/pencil quiz? World language teachers and ESL/ELL teachers will love the chance for students to demonstrate written language skills in the "context" of their comic situations.

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Interactive Drama - Skotos & individual authors

Grades
9 to 12
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This is an interesting set of scenarios, mostly written in murder mystery format, by ESL and ELL students in Taiwan. Very little editing was done to the scenarios, so you ...more
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This is an interesting set of scenarios, mostly written in murder mystery format, by ESL and ELL students in Taiwan. Very little editing was done to the scenarios, so you may notice some grammatical and spelling errors. Be sure to preview whichever of these scenarios you want to use to be sure they are appropriate for your students (although most of them are fine). Most of the scenarios are available in either WORD or PDF versions. If you need Adobe Acrobat, you can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

The murder mystery set-up is always a hit with students and provides both acting practice as well as revision skills since some of the writing needs work due to the nature of being written by ESL and ELL students. Have students prepare and perform the scenarios for each other, having the rest of the class act as the audience, guessing the answer to the mystery.

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Spoken English - Active Audiences

Grades
5 to 12
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This ESL and ELL site offers grammar review of over 50 topics, available with a quick glance at the opening page. Although the lessons are not visually interactive, audio is ...more
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This ESL and ELL site offers grammar review of over 50 topics, available with a quick glance at the opening page. Although the lessons are not visually interactive, audio is provided. The site is a good source for reviewing weaknesses and getting some extra practice. Many of the lessons have the title of the lesson in four other languages so the students will know quickly what they are studying.

Although this site was created for ESL and ELL students, much of the information would be useful in any classroom learning about pronouns, tenses, irregular verbs, and other grammar rules. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): grammar (216), grammar review (37), pronunciation (44), spelling (168), verbs (41)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites for ESL and ELL students to use when they ask for grammar help or need a follow up on something in class. They will also find it useful when preparing for TOEFL and similar college entry tests. Special ed teachers may want to use this auditory approach to help their students with grammar, as well.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Adolescent Literacy - adlit.org

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
The focus of this site is to encourage better literacy and reading enjoyment among pre-teens and adolescents. A sister site to Reading Rockets and Colorin'Colorado, Adlit...more
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The focus of this site is to encourage better literacy and reading enjoyment among pre-teens and adolescents. A sister site to Reading Rockets and Colorin'Colorado, Adlit offers summer reading strategies, book lists, book clubs, classroom technique hints which encourage development of reading attack skills, and a special section on authors and their best books. For a Spanish language version of the main topics available as an A to Z list, click on the left side of the screen ( En Espanol ). This site has everything you already know about teaching reading in easy-to-use formats. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. Get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): authors (120), independent reading (128), reading strategies (45)

In the Classroom

If you need ideas to get students reading for fun and to help develop their confidence, try this site. Highlight this on your class website so parents can try the activities with their older students. When doing author biographies, share this site with your class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to check out the "Classroom Strategies" link for even more literacy ideas.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Better At English - betteratenglish.com

Grades
3 to 12
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This site features podcasts on subject areas of interest to ESL and ELL students and their instructors. Since August 2007, all material is also available as videos. The material presented...more
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This site features podcasts on subject areas of interest to ESL and ELL students and their instructors. Since August 2007, all material is also available as videos. The material presented features teaching techniques, information on new available technologies that assist students with schoolwork and language learning, and grammar and other communication techniques. Although this site was created for ESL/ELL students, it would also be useful for any students learning grammar.. All podcasts include text of the spoken or video materials. The focus for these lessons is on acquiring more vocabulary and improving oral and reading comprehension. Some of the videos come from YouTube. If your school blocks YouTube, consider accessing this site and choosing videos at home, using a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube and bring them in for class use.

This site does have several appropriate advertisements. There are also a few questionable links on the site (for example, "Uncensored English"), so be sure to supervise WELL.

tag(s): idioms (44), listening (91), slang (15), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

You will need headphones or speakers if you choose to assign students to listen to the podcasts individually. This site is excellent for enrichment or special topics. Include it on your teacher web page (with a disclaimer regarding content) for students to access both in and out of class. Use this site with intermediate and advanced level ELL and ESL students to help them improve their knowledge of English slang and idioms. If you are into video, consider creating your own student vodcasts about idioms and sharing them via TeacherTube ( reviewed here) and on your class wiki.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Better at English Videos - betteratenglish.com

Grades
2 to 12
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You Tube videos at this site are organized by English learning subject categories like fruits and vegetables, cars, culture, and also by level of English. Levels go from beginning elementary...more
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You Tube videos at this site are organized by English learning subject categories like fruits and vegetables, cars, culture, and also by level of English. Levels go from beginning elementary up through advanced. The opening page features several videos with a humorous twist (such as interviewing Japanese celebrities about the difference between "like" and "hate"). A section for teachers includes suggestions of how to use specific videos and also teacher training videos. Many of the featured videos are products of professional ESL/EFL services, so this site does a good job compiling and organizing them. Although this site was created as an ESL/ELL site, much of the material would be useful for any students learning grammar.

Teachers will need to set up videos to be used in class (and supervise WELL) to control student viewing. There are some questionable links on this site including "Uncensored English" and "Sick Videos." There are also advertisements on the top and right side of the website. This site is slow to load at times, so opening the site before you are ready to use it in class may save you some time. If your school blocks YouTube, consider accessing this site and choosing videos at home , using a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): business (58), grammar (216)

In the Classroom

Use specially previewed and selected videos to make vocabulary lessons come alive. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share with the entire class. Be sure to preview and have the video before the class sees it. Encourage your students to make their own videos or vodcasts of items you are studying in class. If teachers are unsure of how to use the videos, check the for teachers section. Check this site frequently to see what's new. List this site on your class website (with a disclaimer regarding content), for ESL and ELL families to explore together at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Up and Down Words - Merriam Webster

Grades
3 to 10
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In this activity, students learn word combinations and idioms. In a ladder sequence, students find the second half of a word combo by reading its definition and adding the second ...more
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In this activity, students learn word combinations and idioms. In a ladder sequence, students find the second half of a word combo by reading its definition and adding the second word.That, in turn, becomes the first part of the next answer. The goal is to get to the 7th word combo whose second half started the game. Clickable hints assist students with the first letter missing word. You are able to click on the clues (to get more letters) as often as needed to solve the puzzle. There are new puzzles every weekday and archived puzzles from previous dates. There are two difficulty levels. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): grammar (216), idioms (44), puzzles (208), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for vocabulary enhancement and understanding of idioms. Speech and language teachers may want to use it to teach word combinations, as well. Students can easily play this game in pairs. Since teachers can also print the blank activity, you can use it for a desk activity or homework assignment. After students get used to this idea, have them make their own word ladders on the interactive whiteboard, as a sequence of animated PowerPoint slides, or collaboratively as a graphic organizer using an online tool such as Gliffy or Mindomo.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Visual Geography - Boris Kester and Nana Bj?rnlund

Grades
5 to 12
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This site offers rich geographical information visually: through photographs. Students select a continent to investigate. (Note: all continents except Antarctica are included.) After...more
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This site offers rich geographical information visually: through photographs. Students select a continent to investigate. (Note: all continents except Antarctica are included.) After viewing pictures of one country on that continent, they can click for a more in-depth examination and more pictures, listen to the native language of that area, click on another country to make a comparison, and take a quiz on that information. They can also select certain categories to learn more about transportation, education, religion, people, etc.

tag(s): climate (92), continents (50), countries (77)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a world cultures or geography unit or lesson on an interactive whiteboard or projector. This site offers a visual approach to studying and comparing other countries and interesting research information to use for independent projects. This site is also excellent for enrichment. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class. Use this site to introduce the countries your ESL and ELL students represent. Have your ESL and ELL students guide the interactive picture tour for the class. World language teachers can use this site as part of their cultural studies.

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KidsWWrite - Kalamalka Institute for Working Writers

Grades
1 to 10
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This e-magazine features work by children from ages 5 - 16 from all around the world. The student writings are divided into three age levels (5-8, 9-12, and 13-16). The ...more
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This e-magazine features work by children from ages 5 - 16 from all around the world. The student writings are divided into three age levels (5-8, 9-12, and 13-16). The writing includes both poetry and stories. Students can also submit book reviews of favorite works and also art. The book reviews are anecdotal and personal and also include a drawing or copy of the book cover. If students wish to search for stories on a certain topic, a search box and archives are available.

tag(s): creative writing (166), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Share samples of students' writing on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to preview for content inappropriate for your classroom. Have your students create cover art and write stories, book reviews, or poetry to submit to this site. Of course you will want written parent permission before submitting student work to this online magazine. Students should submit their work without identifiable names and location, according to your school policy.If your school prohibits using blogs to post student writing, this is a middle ground alternative to get their works in front of a wider audience.

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Vocabulary Word Lists for Academic Vocabulary - Gerry Luton

Grades
8 to 12
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As an addendum to the Academic Vocabulary site, this site is invaluable for testing students interactively with the word lists created. As a general vocabulary checker, it is a great...more
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As an addendum to the Academic Vocabulary site, this site is invaluable for testing students interactively with the word lists created. As a general vocabulary checker, it is a great pre-testing tool as well. Check out the link The Exercises to find the free word lists.

tag(s): vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

The interactive nature of this site makes it good way to involved students in their own learning. While it offers a purchase of the software used to create the list, you can use the exercises offered on the website for free. This is possible only if you use the list of words available on the site as sublists. Having students check their own work (the sentences offered are upper level, 8-12) frees you to work with individual students and allows all students to work at their own pace. You could also use selected lists (with credit, of course) as the basis for a student-generated class vocabulary wiki. Ask students to "define" the words creatively on the wiki and see what happens!

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