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The Kids Should See This - Rion Nakaya

Grades
K to 8
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This site offers media (found on YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr) on a broad spectrum of topics, not created for kids but appropriate and interesting for children 3 years old and ...more
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This site offers media (found on YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr) on a broad spectrum of topics, not created for kids but appropriate and interesting for children 3 years old and up. Media isn't divided into categories. The newest items appear first. However, you can search the site by keyword. Information ranges from animal stories of a dog without legs to video of Ella Fitzgerald scatting. Obviously, this site is updated frequently, so contents will change. Students and adults alike will love browsing for interesting stories and information.

tag(s): news (261), speaking (24), video (253), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Check first to be sure the media are not blocked by school web filtering. Choose one item from the site to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a class discussion starter on current topics or as a lead-in to a lesson. (Example: show the YouTube video about order of the planets when beginning an astronomy unit). Share the site with students and let them explore to find interesting topics for research reports. Ask students to choose one item from the site to share with other students as a way to practice oral presentation skills. Use videos or images as writing prompts or blog prompts. ESL/ELL students can practice their language skills by retelling a favorite video. Challenge your students to create their own informative videos on a topic that your class is exploring. Share the videos using a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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Epic Decide - EpicDecide.com

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

tag(s): polls and surveys (48), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

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

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A Google a Day - Google

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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Common Core Standards - Pearson Education, Inc.

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

tag(s): commoncore (92), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

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

Grades
3 to 12
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WordTwist is an online version of the word game, Boggle. The idea is to create as many words as possible in the 4X4 or 5X5 grids. Play can be done ...more
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WordTwist is an online version of the word game, Boggle. The idea is to create as many words as possible in the 4X4 or 5X5 grids. Play can be done without registration; however, registration allows you to keep track of your scores and compare yourself to other players. Scores are based on the number and difficulty of words found on the game board. There are two versions of the game, a Flash version and one that doesn't require Flash.
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tag(s): game based learning (103), spelling (168), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

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

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Activity of the Month - Dr. Jean

Grades
K to 1
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This site offers a list of monthly "newsletters" full of teaching ideas and parenting tips/suggestions. Each months activities reflect the seasons and their special holidays. Many...more
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This site offers a list of monthly "newsletters" full of teaching ideas and parenting tips/suggestions. Each months activities reflect the seasons and their special holidays. Many activities include letters, words, and book activities. Besides the basic activity, quite a few of the monthly offerings include downloadable books to print and use, original song lyrics, and links to other related websites. This site is great to use with young ESL/ELL students too who need lots of fun reinforcement with learning the alphabet and pre-reading skills. This site includes many math activities as well.
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tag(s): crafts (40), literacy (103), poetry (227), preK (279), seasons (37), songs (52)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for enrichment. Share this link on your teacher web page and/or in a parent newsletter for those who trying to encourage the habit of reading and handling books.

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Follow the Peach - Roald Dahl Nominee Limited/Quentin Blake

Grades
2 to 6
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Follow that Peach! celebrates the 50th anniversary of James and the Giant Peach. This site extends the Roald Dahl book by sending the peach on further adventures around the world. ...more
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Follow that Peach! celebrates the 50th anniversary of James and the Giant Peach. This site extends the Roald Dahl book by sending the peach on further adventures around the world. With Follow that Peach! you can send a virtual peach or download a paper Peach-gram to send through the mail.

tag(s): authors (120), literature (275)

In the Classroom

This site provides a great way for you to extend your literature unit and to bring in geography and math. Send both a virtual and paper peach. Have students calculate how far each peach has traveled. Hang a world map and have students mark each place the peach has visited. At the end of the project have students choose a place that their peach visited and do a presentation on their place of choice. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Teachers and librarians be sure to check out the teacher tips sections.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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WordSift - Stanford University

Grades
4 to 12
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WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts -- just copy and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify ...more
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WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts -- just copy and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify important words that appear in the text. After entering text several items will appear, first a word cloud will display the 50 most frequently used words in the text. The most frequently used word will display as a word web in a visual thesaurus. Google image and video search results are also shown. One interesting feature is the ability to click on any of the words in the word cloud to display it in the thesaurus and Google image and video searches. A great way to understand the WordSift tool is to try one of the sample texts offered, such as Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Be sure to check out the "About" link to discover many ideas for use in the classroom. Tips and videos are also available as guides. If you type in a shorter sentence, the site still creates a word cloud using their own related words (not in your original text). Be aware of the advertisements that appear with the word clouds. Advise students not to click on the ads.
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tag(s): dictionaries (56), reading comprehension (116), reading strategies (44), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126), word clouds (10), word study (80)

In the Classroom

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

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Little Lilly Polka Dot - Wendy Grimm

Grades
K to 1
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This site offers several resources for early readers including alphabet learning tools, number matches, and a story book. In Learning Tools, students roll over letters of the alphabet...more
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This site offers several resources for early readers including alphabet learning tools, number matches, and a story book. In Learning Tools, students roll over letters of the alphabet to hear the letter names (turn up the speakers). The games portion has a very simple number puzzle to put numbers 1-4 into place. The activities section has printable coloring pages. Be sure to check out the book, a story about Lilly Polka Dot and her fear of going to the doctor. The book provides audio or the sound can be turned off for someone else to read.

tag(s): alphabet (92), numbers (204), phonics (75)

In the Classroom

Share the book on your interactive whiteboard or projector during a health unit for students to learn that going to the doctor isn't scary. Create links to the alphabet and number activities on classroom computers for students to practice. Write (and decorate) your own Lilly Polka Dot stories. Provide this link on your class website for students (and parents) to easily access at home.
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Old Radio World - OldRadioWorld.com

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

tag(s): 1930s (15), 1940s (13), 1950s (12), listening (91), oral history (12), radio (27), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

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

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

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

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Multicultural Canada: Wayang Kulit - Lynn Copeland, Simon Fraser University

Grades
3 to 12
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This unique site by Multicultural Canada is part of a digitization project that aims to tell the stories of the cultures that make up Canada. Other modules include Chinese, ...more
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This unique site by Multicultural Canada is part of a digitization project that aims to tell the stories of the cultures that make up Canada. Other modules include Chinese, Japanese, Scottish, Indonesian, Italian, Jewish, Vietnamese,and Pakistan collections are included in the learning modules. Detailed lesson plans, related resources, with rubrics are included. IN this module, Simon Fraser University shares their collection of Wayang Kulit, or shadow puppetry from Indonesia. Wayang Kulit often portrays moral or political messages. The university featured the exhibit, Crossing Oceans, Crossing Cultures, which includes the shadow puppets and stories about good and evil, respect, duty, friendship, and loyalty. The website shows some of the Wayang Kulit shadow puppets, as well as providing information on traditional stories. Photographs of several intricate shadow puppets are included. Ideas for projects using a variety of free downloads are suggested. There is also an introductory video.

tag(s): canada (30), myths and legends (25), readers theater (17), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

In language arts classes, study universal stories and myths while discovering the culture of Indonesia and shadow puppetry. Dramatize the elements of good versus evil, characterization, and plot. Discover a unique twist to Readers' Theater. Storyboarding opportunities allow for a simpler construction of a story performance with fewer background scenery or props necessary. Sound and musical accompaniments can add to the creativity of the performance. Reluctant readers through gifted learners will enjoy the flexibility and creativity of the art of shadow puppetry.

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SuperKids Vocabulary Builders - Super Kids

Grades
3 to 11
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This site offers vocabulary enhancement activities in a variety of neat ways. Words of the day are available on three levels, upper elementary, junior high or middle school, and PSAT/SAT...more
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This site offers vocabulary enhancement activities in a variety of neat ways. Words of the day are available on three levels, upper elementary, junior high or middle school, and PSAT/SAT prep. Hangman, wordfind, scrambled words, and other conventional word games are also available.
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tag(s): logic (235), puzzles (208), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use this site to review pertinent vocabulary by making FUN activities for your students! Share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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English Idioms - Wayne Magnuson

Grades
3 to 10
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Here you will find a dictionary of slang words and phrases that is organized into three sections: idioms alone, idioms that contain a specific word (like "get"), and idioms explained...more
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Here you will find a dictionary of slang words and phrases that is organized into three sections: idioms alone, idioms that contain a specific word (like "get"), and idioms explained by a specific word. Simply click on the letter of the alphabet to find the word or phrase they are looking for. The definitions of the idioms also contain links to other idioms with similar meaning. Another helpful feature is the use of the idiom in a sentence. A version of the dictionary is available as a book as well. Try looking up idioms containing the word "dog" as an example.
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tag(s): dictionaries (56), idioms (44), slang (15)

In the Classroom

This is a great resource for mixed classes with limited English speakers or students with very literal language skills.

If your state testing requires understanding of idioms, be sure to include this link on your teacher web page and as a Favorite on your classroom computer for students to "play" with whenever they have a chance.
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Fairrosa Cyber Library for Children - Roxanne Hsu Feldman

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers a well organized and comprehensive collection of links to online literature, classics, folk tales, poetry, reference materials, magazines, and professional journals....more
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This site offers a well organized and comprehensive collection of links to online literature, classics, folk tales, poetry, reference materials, magazines, and professional journals. There is also access to a library of websites organized and maintained by a librarian. Reference shelf links give access to professional articles and other resources for children's literature including information about authors. The archive section leads to archives of discussions about materials for students.

tag(s): authors (120), ebooks (41), literature (275)

In the Classroom

Whether you're reading the classics or folk tales in your classroom, students can access these stories online in school or at home. Since many of the genres have an extensive collection, you might consider reading one as a class, and then having small groups choose different titles to read and present the story or folktale in picture book format. You can easily have them do this online using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Once the project is done these books can be posted to your website for students in class to read through, and for parents and family to view.

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LiveBinders4Teachers - Barbara Tallent

Grades
K to 12
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This website is a compilation of completed LiveBinders. LiveBinders4Teachers is separated by subject, grade, and general usage. This would be a great way for a new teacher to get ideas...more
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This website is a compilation of completed LiveBinders. LiveBinders4Teachers is separated by subject, grade, and general usage. This would be a great way for a new teacher to get ideas for teaching units. Using a pre-made binder saves time and sheds light on some of the potential of the application. Anyone interested in setting up their own LiveBinders would benefit from using this resource. To learn more about Livebinders and how to make your own, see our full review of LiveBinders here.

tag(s): classroom management (134), teaching strategies (24)

In the Classroom

Use these prefabricated binders as the base for your own binders! Also, connect with other adventurous technology using teachers to glean new ideas and discover even more new tools.

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Topmark Interactive Whiteboard Resources - Topmarks

Grades
K to 12
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This wonderful collection of interactive whiteboard activities is designed for students ages 3 to 18. Topics include Math, Literacy, Science, Physics, History, Art, Music, and Religion....more
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This wonderful collection of interactive whiteboard activities is designed for students ages 3 to 18. Topics include Math, Literacy, Science, Physics, History, Art, Music, and Religion. Within each topic are categories to help narrow down search results. Activities contain a short summary, a link to the resource, and some have objectives. Because this is a British site, be aware that some vocabulary and content may be unfamiliar to American students, so preview carefully before using.

tag(s): descriptive writing (41), energy (197), environment (317), forces (44), grammar (216), literacy (103), literature (275), map skills (80), maps (288), novels (24), persuasive writing (55), poetry (227), preK (279), religions (61), rhythm (20), rivers (21), seasons (37), shakespeare (131), speeches (17), spelling (168), water cycle (33), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use activities offered on the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector either as a whole class activity or use your whiteboard as one of the learning centers in your class. Share with parents on your blog or classroom newsletter as a resource for practice at home.
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Flu Trends - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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This site shows graphs of flu cases in the U.S., and with an easy click, allows students and teachers to check similar graphs in countries around the world. At the ...more
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This site shows graphs of flu cases in the U.S., and with an easy click, allows students and teachers to check similar graphs in countries around the world. At the time of this review, the graphs were updated through 2009. Google uses aggregated data to make the flu trend data into graphic form. In an accompanying narrative, Google suggests that people who search for flu trends are often suffering from flu themselves. The site also compares the data Google collects and the published data from each country's health services.

tag(s): graphic organizers (43), medicine (67)

In the Classroom

Use this site when teaching graph reading and also data collection presentation when students are doing research. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on graphic organizers on a projector or interactive whiteboard. The site includes an active graph that adds data by time period as students view it. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create a different type of online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. Discuss with your students other types of data that Google might be able to collect in a more up-to-date manner than public agencies.
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Books Should Be Free - BooksShouldbe free

Grades
K to 12
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Acquaint student's with the classics (and more) with these free public domain audio books. Most of these novels are written by authors such as: Mark Twain, L. Frank Baum, Lewis ...more
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Acquaint student's with the classics (and more) with these free public domain audio books. Most of these novels are written by authors such as: Mark Twain, L. Frank Baum, Lewis Carroll, Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austin, J.B. Barrie, Hugh Lofting, and Beatrix Potter. Some audio tracks are available in different languages. The most significant collection appears to be in French and German. Download MP3 files for each chapter in one zip file (333 MB) or directly into iTunes. Search for books by genre, author, title, or keywords. Suggest this site to students who have difficulties with reading, including with ESL/ELL students. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Share this site with your teaching colleagues who work with your learning support, foreign language, or ESL/ELL students..

tag(s): ebooks (41), fluency (23), french (88), german (64), literature (275), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Upgrade your literature circles and include e-readers that are speech enabled. Share the stories (or full text) on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Books Should Be Free provides links to the free text that accompanies the audio track. Sites such as Project Gutenberg (reviewed here) contain free versions of the full text. Students can simultaneously listen and read books on either a classroom computer, iPad, Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, or other mobile or cell phone. These recordings will also boost fluency instruction by serving as an oral reading model. Audio-assisted books will encourage students to read with expression, improve reading comprehension, stimulate vocabulary development, and provide a way for students to read text beyond their reading level.

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Story Something - Jim Rose and Jonathan Ehrlich

Grades
K to 2
1 Favorites 0  Comments
StorySomething contains a large array of online stories that can be personalized to the individual reader. After choosing a story, a list of characters in the story (with a ...more
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StorySomething contains a large array of online stories that can be personalized to the individual reader. After choosing a story, a list of characters in the story (with a short description) appears. These names can be replaced with your choice of names. The story then appears with the new names. Optional sign-up on the site allows students to share their stories through email or save stories to the site. However, no sign-up is necessary to view the personalized stories.

tag(s): interactive stories (32), literacy (103), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

Save this site on your computer favorites. During the first week of school, project a story on your interactive whiteboard or projector using students names in your class. Have students take turns reading the story to the class. Create a class account and allow students to personalize their own stories, then print the stories for students to read on their own or with a partner. Share the site on your classroom blog or website for students to use at home for reading practice. Ask your students to write their own stories where others can insert names, and share them on your interactive whiteboard or projector for reading fluency practice.

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Story Time for Me - Andrew Gitt

Grades
K to 2
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site offers three series with online animated stories for young children. After choosing a series, readers pick from one of several books to see and hear the story. Several ...more
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This site offers three series with online animated stories for young children. After choosing a series, readers pick from one of several books to see and hear the story. Several choices are offered while books are read - narrated phrases can be highlited or not, pages can be turned automatically or one at a time, and pages can be replayed. There are also personalized activity books available for free download by teachers that can be used in the classroom.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): audio books (32), literacy (103), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

Share these stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Or better yet, create a link to stories on your classroom computers and use this site as a reading center. (Don't forget headsets.) Share a link to the site on your classroom website or blog for parents to access the site with their student.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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