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LearnEnglish Kids - British Council

Grades
3 to 12
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Here you will find a plethora of ESL, ELL and English language activities, each of which in turn has a plethora of its own activities! For example, the short story ...more
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Here you will find a plethora of ESL, ELL and English language activities, each of which in turn has a plethora of its own activities! For example, the short story about the magic carpet ride is like a picture book with animated characters, is interactive, and the story is read out loud. There are activities to print to go with the story, there are online interactive activities, and, even before the story begins, there is an interactive picture/word matching activity. Last, at the end of the story, is a short writing prompt. Wow! That was just one short story!

The categories on the site include "Play a game," "Print some activities to do," "Listen to a song," "Read a story," "Practice your writing," and "Find lots more activities." AND, each one of these categories is multi-leveled.

tag(s): songs (53), writing (369)

In the Classroom

This extensive site will make the life of the ESL, ELL, or remedial reading teacher so much easier! Though intended for ESL/ELL teachers, this site can be used by any teacher who is teaching elementary reading and writing. It would also be good for remedial readers. In some parts, i.e. the interactives, you may want to pair up a proficient reader with the ESL/ELL student or remedial reader. The reading of the stories could be done with a projector or interactive whiteboard for a small group or the whole class, and then small groups of students could brainstorm the writing prompts at the end on an interactive white board. Share some of the activities with parents, as well, for at home practice with ESL/ELL students and their family members. Be sure to include this link on your class website.

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Free Magazines Online - James Hubbs

Grades
7 to 12
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This site has a number of current magazines available online including Forbes, Scientific American, Men's Health, and countless others, organized by category. Many could be used for...more
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This site has a number of current magazines available online including Forbes, Scientific American, Men's Health, and countless others, organized by category. Many could be used for educational purposes (see the Science & Learning section, for example). Other general topics include Arts, Business, Computers, News, Sports, and more. Besides regular magazines, there are a number of columns and blogs by famous people. A few magazines, such as Forbes and Scientific American, display feature article titles when you click on their names, but most open to the magazine home page in a new window.

tag(s): blogs (90), news (265), newspapers (97)

In the Classroom

For ESL/ELL students, use magazines at this site to teach vocabulary and American culture. For current events classes, display the latest news online on your projector or interactive whiteboard, finding it quickly with just a few clicks. Have groups explore current news headlines and compare coverage or create their own videos (news or infomercials) using a site such as Teachers.TV reviewed here. This may also be a link that you would want to list on your class website for both students and parents to use at home. If you require current events article summaries each week, your students can use this site to find the latest at no cost. Reading teachers can easily find passages to use for comprehension skills such as main idea, summarizing, inferencing and more, all from current articles and ready to project on your interactive whiteboard for underlining, highlighting and discussion.

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Exam English - Steve Chadwick

Grades
9 to 12
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This site offers free practice tests for second language students including the IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC, and the Cambridge ESOL exams (used in the U.K.) such as CPE, CAE, FCE, and ...more
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This site offers free practice tests for second language students including the IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC, and the Cambridge ESOL exams (used in the U.K.) such as CPE, CAE, FCE, and PET. It has information about each exam as well. A free screening test is available for students to determine their current English level. Each test includes all the components of a normal testing situation, except the tests that have writing samples may indicate a paper-based format. The listening tests include the audio portion.

For those not familiar with these tests, one of them is usually required for admittance to colleges, universities, and post-high school training schools.

tag(s): vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites for high-school aged ESL and ELL students who are interested in going on to higher education in the U.S. Share the site with the college counselors in your schools. Provide this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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Memorize Now - Brad Haugaard

Grades
2 to 12
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This site allows students to enter texts of varying lengths which they would like to memorize, but it can also be much more. Working like a sort of reverse cloze ...more
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This site allows students to enter texts of varying lengths which they would like to memorize, but it can also be much more. Working like a sort of reverse cloze test, the site erases more and more of the text as the student works through it. A blank remains, marking the spot for each word that has been removed. Alternatively, students can also select "letters" to see the first word of every sentence in the item. Two ways of entering the text passage allow students to copy items from a spread sheet (like vocabulary words) instead of retyping or entering each word. This site also allows you to create flashcards to use for practice. This is a great tool to help students study and understand how they learn best!

tag(s): vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

This site does far more than aid memorization. Reading teachers can also use it to teach comprehension skills, such as using context clues to determine meaning in a paragraph. Paste in the paragraph (perhaps a passage from a non-fiction science or social studies article) and use this tool on your interactive whiteboard for students to "figure out" the missing words. Do the same with world language texts to reverse match using subject verb agreement and to analyze missing content using inflected endings. In science class, use this site to remove clues from a paragraph explaining a concepts or terms, subtracting information and having students fill it back in as they review for test and quizzes. Learning support teachers will love this option! Enter passage students write that include new vocabulary words, letting students challenge each other by subtracting portions. Speech and language teachers can use this tool to provide practice with expressive language.

For work with memorization, use this site with popular song lyrics in class. Listen to the song first and give the students the lyrics to be memorized. Or, go to YouLyrics (if district policy allows) to get the song and see a video of it and then have the students use this site to help them memorize the lyrics. ESL, ELL, and students of other languages will enjoy memorizing songs which helps them improve their vocabulary and accent. Use this site in a group by projecting the screen on a whiteboard or projector and systematically show fewer and fewer words on the screen. Have teams of students compete against each other by writing the text as quickly as possible on two boards in the classroom. Share this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the class to memorize new information. Share it as a personal study skills tool, as well.

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Teacher Training Videos - Russell Stannard

Grades
K to 12
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Become a technology expert by learning from the best. View screencasts of great training videos for teachers. Find content to support in a variety of subject areas with tutorials and...more
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Become a technology expert by learning from the best. View screencasts of great training videos for teachers. Find content to support in a variety of subject areas with tutorials and "how to" for a variety of sites. Subscribe to newsletters to receive updates of newly produced videos. Find "how to" videos of web 2.0 tools such as wikis, blogs, and other more complicated tools by clicking on "Web 2.0/ICT Videos."

tag(s): professional development (156), spelling (168), tutorials (48), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use the links on the left hand side to find videos on how to use some of the most popular and useful classroom sites around. Find something of use in the vast array available for viewing. The screencasts of the web 2.0 sites offer step by step instructions to help novice and intermediate users in their use in the classroom. Videos are organized into topics with multiple tools showcased in the segment. Find quick videos at the bottom of the page which highlight just one tool. Even teachers of very young students will find many of the tools explained helpful for their own use in creating learning materials, centers, etc.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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VocabSushi - VocabSushi.com

Grades
8 to 12
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This site helps students learn higher level vocabulary, whether they want to simply improve reading ability or prepare for college entrance tests. Registration requires an email address....more
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This site helps students learn higher level vocabulary, whether they want to simply improve reading ability or prepare for college entrance tests. Registration requires an email address. Rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. 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.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.

Once registered, students can select fitting vocabulary words to put into sentences. The sentences come from popular current newspapers. The site also has standard reading lists for the top test prep sites, including GRE, ISEE, SAT, and ACT. It keeps track of which of those words a student is working on and which he/she has learned. Students who master certain words will find new, more challenging words added to their work-on list. Besides seeing the words used in context, you can also hear the pronunciation of most words, thus making it a good tool for TOEFL test takers as well.

tag(s): test prep (96), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (124)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on your classroom computers. List the link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom. Have students work with a partner to explore this site and then create a podcast incorporating the new words that they learned. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Wonder of Words - wordinfo.info

Grades
8 to 12
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This word quiz is a great way to help students prepare for SAT's or other tests that require high level vocabulary. Students are given a definition and five possible "answers." ...more
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This word quiz is a great way to help students prepare for SAT's or other tests that require high level vocabulary. Students are given a definition and five possible "answers." Simply click on the word that is being defined and you get instant feedback if your answer was correct or you're your percentage correct, and the correct answer - if yours was incorrect. One recommendation is to click on Image Quizzes for quiz words with entertaining pictures that actually do help the student find the correct word. This site also features "category/subcategory" quizzes that concentrate on related word families. The site does include some unobtrusive advertisements.

tag(s): test prep (96), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

If individual computers aren't available, this site would work on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Make it a class challenge. Put this site in a PSAT, SAT, or ACT preparation pamphlet/web page to help students maximize their vocabulary knowledge. It is fast and easy to use. For the most advanced second language learners, this quiz would also be helpful for preparing for the TOEFL test. This is a site you want to list on your class website. As part of your regular vocabulary study, consider having student create their own "Image Quizzes" using their personal vocabulary words, then challenge their classmates! Use a simple tool such as Powerpoint to make the quiz slides (uploadable to Thinglink, reviewed here, or other slide sharing tools) or create them online on a class wiki.

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FluxNow - fluxnow.com

Grades
8 to 12
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This blog style book review source, aimed at teen readers, offers annotated listings of the newest "literature" on the teen scene. Many are done by teen writers, with cover illustrations,...more
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This blog style book review source, aimed at teen readers, offers annotated listings of the newest "literature" on the teen scene. Many are done by teen writers, with cover illustrations, summaries, author info, and selected chapters available. Although it is a sales site, the information about the literature is free. The store is accessible only by clicking on "Trade." Archives of other blog entries about older books offer more breadth in book descriptions. Be sure to advise students to avoid clicking "Trade." Since the content of teen literature is gritty and can include many controversial topics (sex, drugs, alienation, family problems, etc.), you may want to use this site as a library/media specialist without recommending it directly to students. Teachers should make that decision based on their local school community.

tag(s): literature (274)

In the Classroom

Offer this site only to your most discriminating readers. Look at this site frequently since its offerings change weekly. Offer this site only to your most discriminating readers. Look at this site frequently since its offerings change weekly. Share selections on a projector or interactive whiteboard for "quicky" book talks or take a screen shot (with credit, of course) to display a selected review on a digital picture frame in your library/media center. Set the frame to cycle through a slide show of new book selections! Other options for cycling book reviews would be to paste them into PowerPoint slides to run in a looped show on selected media center computers or to run the screenshots as screensaver images.

Now sure how to take a screen shot? Press the PrtScrn button on a Windows computer (sometimes combined with SHIFT or Ctrl key, depending on the computer), then CONTROL+V to PASTE the screen image into an image program such as Paint so you can save it. Screenshots are even easier in Vista using the Snip tool. On a Mac, the screen shot function is Command+Shift+4 (the number 4), and the "picture" (a png image file) gets saved to your chosen location, usually your desktop. Be sure to copy the URL of the page you are "shooting" to give proper credit and place a label with your frame providing this information.

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Caldecott Winners - American Library Association

Grades
K to 10
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This site is the definitive list for yearly Caldecott Medal winners in the field of art and illustration in children's literature. Besides the list of the new winners and the ...more
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This site is the definitive list for yearly Caldecott Medal winners in the field of art and illustration in children's literature. Besides the list of the new winners and the accompanying honor books, the site provides access to previous winners from 1938 onward. Information about the Caldecott award appears in a side panel with links to other important medals in this field, including the Newbery (for excellence in children's literature).

tag(s): book lists (133)

In the Classroom

Save this site on your classroom favorite's on your computer to assist students in finding books to read and sample illustrations for art class and students' own stories. This is a great link to provide on your class website for students to access at home. Within the classroom, have students choose a former Caldecott winner to read and create a multimedia presentation. Use a tool such as bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create and share concept maps about the books.

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Ideas Wisconsin - University of Wisconsin System

Grades
K to 12
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This excellent site has hundreds of lesson plan ideas, interactive tools, videos, and more. All are organized according to grade level and subject, including ESL/ELL. Although some...more
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This excellent site has hundreds of lesson plan ideas, interactive tools, videos, and more. All are organized according to grade level and subject, including ESL/ELL. Although some focus on Wisconsin history and sites, most are useful to all teachers. Besides the lesson plans, there is a news section which offers guided activities with select news events. Teachers can email the site if they'd like to see the archive of news plan offerings. All lesson plans follow WI standards. An interesting place to begin looking at the site is under "New" where teachers can see the most recently added plans. Search by grade, subject, or keyword. Some lessons are simple ideas while others are very detailed and include lots of information.

tag(s): news (265)

In the Classroom

Check here for well-developed lesson plans for a specific topic you'd like to teach. Or scroll through the offerings for your grade level and subject. Complete directions for each lesson plan will guide you through how you can use it in the classroom. Share the interactive or photos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Save this site in your favorites to visit often for some new ways to freshen up the content in your class.

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Jollo - jollo.com

Grades
4 to 12
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This new translation tool allows students and teachers to type a word or phrase to be translated to/from 41 languages. The site shows the words and says it has audio ...more
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This new translation tool allows students and teachers to type a word or phrase to be translated to/from 41 languages. The site shows the words and says it has audio translation, though our reviewers were not able to make it work. It also shows the translation as done by a variety of other sites on the internet including Google Translate, World Lingo, and Yahoo's Babelfish. It's very fast. There's a section where students can see common phrases and translations recently requested.

tag(s): chinese (50), greek (40), hebrew (19), italian (34), japan (61), japanese (43), russia (37), russian (28), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

If you have e-mail pals in other countries or are working on a collaborative project in multiple languages, this site will help you communicate across the world (within limits of auto-translation). You can also use this tool to underscore similarities in related languages as you study English vocabulary and its roots. In world language classes, use this site to compare translations done by the different sites and to demonstrate the fact that instant translators cannot do your homework for you! Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site with ESL/ELL students. As with any site that aggregates from multiple sources, there is some need possibility of coming up with results others have requested that are in poor taste. Also be sure students know consequences of typing inappropriate words. If you suspect that a student is using an instant translator to DO homework, this site will help you test most available translators to find the one he/she may be using.

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Movieclips - movieclips.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Looking for short movie clips that you can view at school and use to teach something? Check out Movieclips. Thousands of short clips are available free and without registration at ...more
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Looking for short movie clips that you can view at school and use to teach something? Check out Movieclips. Thousands of short clips are available free and without registration at this site (not Disney!). Get a quick idea of the content by clicking on the Movies menu. You can make any clip display full screen using the small icon in the lower right. Note: Mature movie clips are available, but registration is required to see them. Sort through movie clips by subject, theme, genre, character, etc. Registered members can add questions to accompany clips. Unfortunately, registration also allows access to mature content. We don't recommend this option, since this will allow students access to the entire site. You would be wise to use a teacher-only email account and membership to submit questions.

Use the embed code and URL codes with each clip to provide link or embed a specific clip into a blog, wiki, or other site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): movies (72)

In the Classroom

None, if you simply wish to view clips. Clips can be played through the site. Copy the URL or embed codes under "Share this clip" to link or share the video.

Student registration is not advisable due to mature content.

Use the clips for vocabulary with ESL or ELL students. Introduce other curriculum topics or lessons using the clips on this site. For example, use video clips to get students thinking about concepts such as tornadoes, animals, feelings, or decision-making. As you teach about characterization in literature or creative writing, use movie clips to illustrate how a writer can "show not tell" about a characters personality or motivations. Have students observe the outward signs the actor uses to SHOW what he/she is feeling, then use these signs in writing their own stories: the way the eyebrows move, the body language, etc. Emotional support and autistic support teachers can use the clips to help students learn to "read" human feelings.

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Blabberize - Mobouy Inc.

Grades
1 to 12
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Blabberize is a photo editing tool that creates talking animations from a photo or other image. Browse the ready-made blabbers or create new ones. There are some real treasures among...more
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Blabberize is a photo editing tool that creates talking animations from a photo or other image. Browse the ready-made blabbers or create new ones. There are some real treasures among the ready-mades. These will help you get ideas for ways to use a Blabber! Here is an example created by the TeachersFirst Edge team. Upload an image from your computer, select an area to become the talking "mouth," and record sound from the mike on your computer. Sound can also come from a sound file you upload. You will need to "allow" access to your computer's microphone. You have 30 seconds to narrate your photo. When you complete the blab, click SAVE. You will be prompted to create an account on the spot. You will also have the options to mark your blab "mature" or "private" (not shown on the "latest" pages and other public areas). Completed Blabs can be shared via email or embedded in another web page, blog, or wiki. Users unfamiliar with copy/pasting embed code can simple share by the URL of the blab's page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (65), firstday (26), images (274), photography (161)

In the Classroom

If your students have never tried to make a Blabber, share the introduction blab on the home page (click the Blabberize logo to get there) on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Browse a few examples first to get ideas on how to make a mouth on your photo to move and "talk." Be sure to turn up your sound! Have a student demonstrate uploading an image from a safe and legal source. You may want to use a single, whole-class account you create with your "extra" email account. Be sure to spell out consequences of inappropriate use/content of blabs. Have students enter the site through the "Make" page link provided in this review to steer clear of the "latest" blabs. You may want your students to make their blabs "private" so they do not show on the public areas, depending on school policies.

Blab the homework directions on your teacher web page. Have your students use photos or digital drawings to "blab"! Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then make it "speak." Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters tell about themselves. This tool is great for gifted students to go above and beyond the basics with an independent project. Create entire conversation sequences of blabs between people in world language or ESL/ELL classes (with students speaking in the language, of course), then embed them in a wiki. Have speech/language students make blabs to practice articulation and document progress over time. Promote oral reading fluency with student-read blabs. Create book "commercials." Have students blab what the author may have been thinking as he/she wrote a poem or literary selection or as an artist painted. Blab politicians' major platform planks during campaigns for current events. Blab the steps to math problem solving. Even primary students can make an animal blab about his habitat if you set up the blab as a center. Make visual vocabulary/terminology sentences with an appropriate character using the term in context (a beaker explaining how it is different from a flask?) Students could also take pictures of themselves doing a lab and then blab the pictures to explain the concepts. This would be a great first day project (introducing yourself and breaking the ice). Share the class blabs on your class web page or wiki! Give directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to grab parents' attention for important information.

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Big Huge Thesaurus - Big Huge Labs

Grades
1 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
This simple-looking online thesaurus is actually MUCH more than a quick-look-up. You can find synonyms, antonyms, similar words, and rhymes for any word you enter. A click on any of...more
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This simple-looking online thesaurus is actually MUCH more than a quick-look-up. You can find synonyms, antonyms, similar words, and rhymes for any word you enter. A click on any of the words offered provides the same information for THAT word, sending you on word-paths through the English language. Innocent-looking links at the top of the page also provide hundreds of prompts for blog posts and stories, with enough choices to inspire any writer. Don't let the boring white background and plain-text presentation fool you. This tool has magic powers to make words interesting to almost anyone. The database of words used to generate this thesaurus comes from "the Princeton University WordNet database, the Carnegie Mellon Pronouncing Dictionary, and suggestions from thousands of people on the internet just like you." See a special note to teachers below regarding student behavior!

tag(s): rhymes (32), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (324), word study (79), writing (369), writing prompts (95)

In the Classroom

Keep this link handy among the resources on your class web page or wiki, and be sure to bring it up on your screen or interactive whiteboard to remind students of the rich tools it offers as you teach grammar, revision, poetry, essay-writing, or even letter and resume writing. With primary grades, share the rhyming words to help teach spelling and phonics! As students share in revising a passage or writing a poem on the interactive whiteboard, have this thesaurus available on another window to model their search for just the right word. Encourage students to look up any new vocabulary or terminology at the start of new science or social studies units so they can gain a broader "sense" of the words themselves through a constellation of synonyms and related words. Help students refine vocabulary by having them rank the various synonyms offered for a certain word, deciding which has the most positive or negative connotations. Offer the writing prompts for student journal or blog posts or creative stories. ESL/ELL students can explore new words with this tool, even practicing the rhyming sounds and noticing their varied spellings. Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.

NOTE: If students enter an inappropriate word, they WILL find classroom-inappropriate terms. As with use of any reference, your students need to know your classroom's consequences of such activity. The options are no different from students looking up body parts or pornographic terms in a print dictionary or on Google.

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English Central - englishcentral.com

Grades
5 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This site teaches English pronunciation to students by showing videos and TV programs on a wide variety of subjects. Listeners then pronounce the speech selection and record it to the...more
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This site teaches English pronunciation to students by showing videos and TV programs on a wide variety of subjects. Listeners then pronounce the speech selection and record it to the site. The site grades the student's pronunciation and shows where they have errors. The site also offers more practice for problem areas in students' pronunciations. With a free registration, students practice and keep track of their problems and progress. Video categories include Business, Daily Life, Dining/Food, Environment, Movies & TV, Music, News & Politics, Shopping, Social Life, Sports, Technology, Travel, and Video Gaming. Along with the variety of topics and subjects to appeal to everyone, English Central allows students to sort listening selections into three levels of difficulty.

Registration does require an email address. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. 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.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.

tag(s): listening (91), pronunciation (44), speech (94)

In the Classroom

Refer your ESL/ELL or speech articulation students to this site to use with a microphone to record their voices. Be sure to show them the demo so they can learn how to use the tools on the site and click to "allow" the mike to record. Help weaker readers by allowing them to see the text of film clips as they listen along, then speak the words back. As they practice English pronunciation, they will also be learning about current events and other topics. Save this site in your favorites on your classroom computer. List this site on your class webpage for students to access (and practice) both in and out of the classroom. Check you school policies before setting up any student accounts with identifiable information or real email addresses.
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International Kids Club - Planet Pals

Grades
2 to 10
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This International Kids Club site has activities, books, and crafts to help students understand each other around the world. Information links include lots of material on world clocks,...more
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This International Kids Club site has activities, books, and crafts to help students understand each other around the world. Information links include lots of material on world clocks, religions, customs, organizations, and art. Specific links include "I" Kids, "I" Share, "I" Shop, "I" Learn, "I" Craft, and "I" Play. One fun part is finding out how speakers of different languages think animals sound. What is "meow" in an Asian language, for example? Sound files give examples of the sounds of many languages, as well. Some of the links are slow to open at times, so you may want to open them before you are ready to use them in class.

tag(s): flags (22), maps (293), tolerance (9)

In the Classroom

Use parts of this site when doing units on prejudice, diversity, and discrimination. Refer students to do research in some of the books listed here on those subjects. Have students interview people from other cultures to check the information given here on aspects of their cultures. Do they agree with what is said here? Even younger students will enjoy learning about flags and peace symbols. Make the craft links available for students doing reports on different countries or preparing for an International Day. Have students copy flags or other country symbols. Ask them to create their own "country" from these models. Challenge cooperative learning groups to research a specific topic at this site and prepare a podcast to share with the class using PodOmatic (reviewed here).
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WordSearchFun.com - WordSearchFun.com

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
Use this site to find some GREAT word searches that are ready to go! Whatever topic you are looking for, you just might find a word search here. If you ...more
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Use this site to find some GREAT word searches that are ready to go! Whatever topic you are looking for, you just might find a word search here. If you can't find one, make your OWN ONLINE word search. What a fantastic tool to use and/or create in any subject!

tag(s): photography (161), puzzles (207)

In the Classroom

Share the relevant word searches on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups practice spelling or vocabulary words by creating their own word search. List this site on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom. This is a great one for those word search lovers in your class. Why not have students use a whole-class account to make their own word searches to challenge each other with new vocabulary and terms?

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Nik's Daily English Activities - Nik Peachey

Grades
6 to 12
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This site, designed for independent autonomous ESL/ELL learning, offers a daily activity in blog format. Links to supporting activities related to the current blog's topic include videos,...more
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This site, designed for independent autonomous ESL/ELL learning, offers a daily activity in blog format. Links to supporting activities related to the current blog's topic include videos, music, listening, reading, and pronunciation. In addition to viewing the current blog topic, students may search the Top 10 Activities on the right hand side of the page and/or look at the blog archive. A search feature also allows learners to search for blogs with their desired topic or feature. Be aware: this site does include some advertisements.

tag(s): blogs (90), listening (91), pronunciation (44)

In the Classroom

Put this link on your class website for those ambitious ESL/ELL students desirous of more practice. Set up a point system for students to earn individual credit for their work. Make a handout about the blog and send it home with your students at the end of the school year for summer use. Check out the "Links for Teachers" section which offers suggestions about how to incorporate second language learning into your classroom using technology.
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Dummies.com - John Wiley & Sons

Grades
6 to 12
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Everyone knows the "for Dummies" books, but did you know there is an entire web site? This site, created by the same publisher, has text-based and video "How To" information ...more
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Everyone knows the "for Dummies" books, but did you know there is an entire web site? This site, created by the same publisher, has text-based and video "How To" information on thousands of topics, organized into general categories. It is also searchable. The education/languages area has both obvious and more obscure topics than you might expect, from To Write a Sonnet to How to Build a Bill (in the U.S. Congress). These text- based articles are great for those who follow verbal information well and often include simple diagrams. The more consumer-oriented areas of the site include videos from setting up your wireless network to carving a turkey. Click on "all videos" under the Featured video to see the video categories.

tag(s): sequencing (31), writing (369)

In the Classroom

Be sure to tell your students that they are NOT the "dummies" referred to in this site! Then go beyond the obvious use of this site as a reference to use it to teach informational writing, reading comprehension, or any curriculum content. Share text-based articles on a projector or interactive whiteboard and have students analyze the keywords and structure of sequential direction-writing or informational writing before they try it on their own. Use the pens and highlighters to note transitions and other ways of organizing directions, including formatting. Use articles to teach basic comprehension skills by copy/pasting sections and having students drag them into the correct sequence on the whiteboard to form logical directions. In science or social studies classes, have students view models on this site, then work in groups to write their own how-to wiki on curriculum topics such as "How to tell a fungus from a bacterium," "How to solve simultaneous equations," or "How to form a government." If you have access to video equipment, have students write scripts and produce video versions of their how-to instructions and post them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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Newsy - newsy.com

Grades
5 to 12
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This site presents current news stories from multiple perspectives, featuring videos and commentary from the world's top newspapers. All the video news clips offer a complete transcript...more
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This site presents current news stories from multiple perspectives, featuring videos and commentary from the world's top newspapers. All the video news clips offer a complete transcript (click on "transcript" just below the video window). General topics covered include the U.S., the world, the environment, culture, technology, economy, and politics. Students can see short news clips, make comments blog style, and read news articles from newspapers around the world. Anyone can view the material, but you must register to be able to make comments. 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.

tag(s): news (265), newspapers (97)

In the Classroom

This site is ideal for your interactive whiteboard or projector, learning station, or on individual computers (with headsets). Use this site to keep your students up to date on current events. Have students compare the different versions of the same news stories to try and ferret out the facts and the way points of view affect reporting. Project the scripts on an interactive whiteboard to have students highlight language choices that provide a certain slant. ESL/ELL students will benefit from listening to the short news clips and being able to see the transcript of the report. Have your ESL/ELL students write their own comprehension questions and answers based on the podcast to check their own comprehension and to exchange with classmates. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare the differences in two newspapers' versions of the same news. Have ESL/ELL students present the news from a newspaper familiar to them if possible by having them prepare an introduction and questions. Learning support students can use the transcripts and videos in combination to understand and report weekly current events assignments for social studies class.
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