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

tag(s): holidays (147)

In the Classroom

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

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

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Whyzz - Whyzz LLC

Grades
K to 8
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Find yourself stumped by all the strange questions students have? Are you looking for somewhere to go where adults can find the answers? Use this site to ask your question. ...more
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Find yourself stumped by all the strange questions students have? Are you looking for somewhere to go where adults can find the answers? Use this site to ask your question. Just type your question into the text box and several options for answers appear. The site was created for use by parents with young children, but it can really appeal to any age. Answers are written by site experts and by users themselves. Talk about the "source" of information as you share this site with your students! Registration is not necessary to ask questions. In order to add comments or an answer to another question, you must register. Registering requires use of an email address. If you choose to register your class, here is a 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. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Once registered, your Whyzz are kept as a record for review later. Site members can also comment on Whyzz answers which are offered by many professionals. Each answer also features a section called "exploration" where additional learning can take place as well as "related Whyzz." Check the spotlight, browse categories, and look at a featured answer.

tag(s): inquiry (37)

In the Classroom

Teachers may be the experts but the greater gift is helping students find answers. Use this site as a class to receive kid friendly answers to normal and weird kid questions. Whyzz not only give the why, but also the hows and the whats! Have students create interactive projects that share the answers to the "WHY." Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Share the link with parents of younger elementary students to use at home, as well!

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Blizzard - Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri State University

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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

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Using Creative Dramatics With the Teaching of Poetry - Tracy 4/5 teacher

Grades
3 to 5
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This is a teacher-created lesson trying to get upper elementary students interested in poetry by involving them in groups. It is simple and easily adapted to different grade levels....more
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This is a teacher-created lesson trying to get upper elementary students interested in poetry by involving them in groups. It is simple and easily adapted to different grade levels.

tag(s): poetry (228)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan during a language arts unit on poetry. For a twist on the skit idea, you could also have students complete the almost the same task by creating online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).

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Random Poem Generator - Mathijs1988

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

tag(s): poetry (228)

In the Classroom

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

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Award Winning Kids' Books - Reading Rockets

Grades
K to 12
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If you are looking for recent children's literature award winning books, this is the site for you. Reading Rockets has an excellent compilation of major awards such as Caldecott Medal...more
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If you are looking for recent children's literature award winning books, this is the site for you. Reading Rockets has an excellent compilation of major awards such as Caldecott Medal and Newbery Awards along with other less known but note-worthy recognitions. In addition, many "best of" lists are included from recent years. This is an excellent resource for classroom teachers, library/media specialists, and parents. Schools without media specialists may find this especially useful as a resource for the newest and most highly-regarded literature. Be sure to also check out the many other resources offered on this site such as Reading Guides, Classroom Strategies, and the many videos available about reading.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): book lists (128), book reports (35), guided reading (47), independent reading (128), literacy (103), literature (275)

In the Classroom

Share this site with other teachers as a resource for locating recent literature and for book orders. Keep this site handy as a resource for ideas for student reading material, book clubs, summer reading lists, book circles, and classroom read-alouds. Be sure to list this site on your class website for students to access both in and out of school. After reading a new book, rather than having students complete a traditional book report, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Be sure to share the link with parents, too!

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Fold Play - Alfa, Superspy, and Octave

Grades
1 to 10
11 Favorites 1  Comments
    
Turn your photographs into a three-dimensional wonder. Fold Play lets users upload their own photographs into existing templates, print, and then fold them into Kaleidocycles, books,...more
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Turn your photographs into a three-dimensional wonder. Fold Play lets users upload their own photographs into existing templates, print, and then fold them into Kaleidocycles, books, double-sided poly puzzles, or invertible cubes. The clear instructional tutorials and directions make the process painless. Some projects even include video instructions.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): crafts (41), creative writing (166), geometric shapes (163), origami (17), paper folding (5), photography (160), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Create clever "All About Me" projects while teaching mathematical principals about 2D and 3D figures, line, area, perimeter, and planes. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. The most effective way to use this site is to allow students to work on it in pairs so they can easily assist each other. The tutorials are ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector because students can follow (and fold) along with the presentation. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating how to create 3D shapes with sites such as PodOmatic (reviewed here (reviewed here). Ask students to explain the folding process with geometric terms such as fractional parts, symmetry, faces, edges, rotations, lines, triangles, angles, and shapes. Foldplay turns math instruction into an art. Younger students may find some folding tasks a challenge, so be sure to provide a buddy for those with poor fine motor skills.

Make gifts for special occasions, such as to thank the school principal or cafeteria workers. Create unique ornaments using student photos. Decorate a "physics tree" or "author tree" using Fold Play ornaments made from images of the concepts or of books by that author.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

I was about to bookmark this site and use it for my Intermediate students. I would consider this to have inappropriate content for students. The site talks about unhealthy attraction to pornographic haiku and lesbianism.

Editor's Note: We investigated this comment and looked through all the Foldplay activities/templates. ALL areas are safe and school appropriate EXCEPT under "Links and Stuff." The value of the activities in the other areas makes this site worth keeping, even if you must monitor to avoid the "links" area. We have also contacted FoldPlay to explain teacher concerns.
Nina, TX, Grades: 3 - 5

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Zoho Show - ZOHO Corporation

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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

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Quiz Revolution - QuizRevolution

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

tag(s): assessment (100), quiz (84), quizzes (96)

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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Collaborize Classroom - Democrasoft

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

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (198), forum (9), polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

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

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iPod user group Wiki - Joe Morelock

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

tag(s): grants (19)

In the Classroom

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

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S.M.A.R.T. Books! - Kansas State University

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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Cardboard Cognition - San Diego State University Department of Education

Grades
K to 6
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This site offers directions and resources for 132 educational card and board games. Games are listed in alphabetical order with a direct link to the description of the games. Most ...more
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This site offers directions and resources for 132 educational card and board games. Games are listed in alphabetical order with a direct link to the description of the games. Most games have a name that gives a clue to the content; however, it may be worthwhile to search other games that may be modified for different uses. Each game includes information on appropriate use of the game, rationale, directions, modifications, and information on designing game cards.

tag(s): capitals (24), logic (235), number sense (97), nutrition (154), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Create games to use for classroom centers, homework, or practice with classroom skills. Older students can be given directions and create their own card games. Use the card games on the site as inspiration for creating card games appropriate for your classroom.

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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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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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WorksheetWorks - WorksheetWorks.com

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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Make A Match - Lyndsey McCollam

Grades
1 to 3
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How many tries will it take to match all the pairs in this Concentration-style game? No directions are needed for even the smallest players, just click on 2 squares to ...more
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How many tries will it take to match all the pairs in this Concentration-style game? No directions are needed for even the smallest players, just click on 2 squares to find a match. If there isn't a match, remember what is behind each of the squares to try again.

tag(s): matching (24), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector then allow students to explore the site on their own. The site provides great practice with memory and computer skills for primary students.

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SMART Board Goodies - Amber Coggin

Grades
K to 12
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This bright and cheerful blog offers original interactive whiteboard resources created by a certified SMARTboard trainer. The site is updated often, get notices of updates by email...more
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This bright and cheerful blog offers original interactive whiteboard resources created by a certified SMARTboard trainer. The site is updated often, get notices of updates by email or by following on Twitter or Facebook. To find archived files, search the site using the search box at the top of the page, search archived files by month, or find links to notebook files on the right-hand side of the home page. Especially helpful are the author's notes when posting new files as she offers tips on how to use it in the classroom. An example is the singing horses file (check it out, very funny!) that she uses to help students get used to using an interactive whiteboard while learning cause and effect. Be sure to check out the Facebook page template which includes a template for student use. Since this teacher uses SMART brand IWB, you may need to use SMART Notebook Express reviewed hereto open some files on another brand of whiteboard.

tag(s): iwb (31), literacy (103), numbers (204), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Shop the site for interactive whiteboard resources to download for classroom use. Use the singing horses to teach cause and effect. Use the Facebook page template for students to create biographies of famous people, of themselves for back to school, or of teachers in your building for Back to School nights! There is much to explore at this "gem" of a site!

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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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