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Pigeon Presents - Hyperion Books for Children

Grades
K to 3
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Pigeon Presents is the website for award winning author Mo Willems. There are interactives, printables, author information, and teacher guides. Try activities such as the Elephant and...more
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Pigeon Presents is the website for award winning author Mo Willems. There are interactives, printables, author information, and teacher guides. Try activities such as the Elephant and Piggie Dance Game or the coloring page of the month. Watch video interviews of the author explaining his background and how some of the book characters were created. Information for teachers includes posters and guides for teaching with the books that include pre-reading activities, discussion questions, and hidden information found in the illustrations (see "Grownup stuff"). Be sure to check out the More Mo! link to find more games, books, and activities featuring Mo's friends. Some annoying ads may precede access into the site.
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tag(s): authors (122), literature (275), preK (292), printables (38)

In the Classroom

Be sur to explore the "grownup stuff" area for activity ideas. After reading a Mo Willems book, show a video interview on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to help students understand the work that goes into creating books and developing characters. Use the site when teaching an author study unit on Mo Willems books. Posters available on the site are perfect for use on classroom bulletin boards along with displaying student writing.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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VocabAhead Vocabulary Videos - VocabAhead Team

Grades
9 to 12
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Use VocabAhead in your classroom for teaching SAT and ACT vocabulary words (or simply to build vocabulary). This free vocabulary building system offers vocabulary videos, searchable...more
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Use VocabAhead in your classroom for teaching SAT and ACT vocabulary words (or simply to build vocabulary). This free vocabulary building system offers vocabulary videos, searchable by beginning letter of the word. You can also create your own word lists, share your lists with students, use flash cards for quick review, and test yourself by taking the online quizzes. You will welcome the fresh perspectives and interactive learning activities for teaching and practicing ACT and SAT words.
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tag(s): vocabulary (325), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Project this vocabulary website on your classroom whiteboard or projector and share a few quick ready-made vocabulary videos. They are quick, fun, and memorable. They also provide a way to associate words and make the definitions stick. This will especially have value for visual learners and ESL/ELL students. Use the easy to navigate, alphabetized word lists as they appear on the website, or create your own sets from the lists for assignments. Sign up to receive the Word of the Day. Share the link to this site on your web page for students to access at home. Let your students create their own vocabulary videos to share with your class. Share the videos using a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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Shakespeare Bookshelf - IPl2: Drexel-College of Information Science & Technology

Grades
7 to 12
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This attractive library of Shakespeare's literary works is organized just the way you want it: each poem, comedy, history, and tragedy is bound in its own volume and placed in ...more
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This attractive library of Shakespeare's literary works is organized just the way you want it: each poem, comedy, history, and tragedy is bound in its own volume and placed in alphabetical order on the appropriate shelf of the bookcase. The titles link to the 1914 edition of The Oxford Shakespeare at Bartleby and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare from Jeremy Hylton at MIT. This is truly a librarian's, English teacher's, or any lover of literature's delight! You can find the actual text of any Shakespeare work.
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tag(s): literature (275), shakespeare (112)

In the Classroom

Students and teachers will enjoy using this Shakespeare offering because it is just "As You Like It"! Include this site on your classroom web page to provide students, parents, and yourself ease of access to reputable on-line versions of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and all the other literary works. This website will come in handy for projecting text on your classroom whiteboard to highlight, compare, and interpret particular scenes and lines. If you assign students to create multimedia interpretations of sonnets or passages from the plays, this is a great way to find copy/pastable text, ready for any multimedia tool.

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Spreeder - 7-Speed-Reading

Grades
7 to 12
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Learn to read at a faster pace with much better reading comprehension using Spreeder, a free online speed reading service. Use passages of your choice by simply loading (or copy ...more
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Learn to read at a faster pace with much better reading comprehension using Spreeder, a free online speed reading service. Use passages of your choice by simply loading (or copy and paste) the text, and Spreeder will pace through it at a speed you set. You can adjust your speed as your reading comprehension increases. There is also a feature to increase "chunk" size, an effective strategy used in reading instruction. Get the free app for Chrome or use the practice box on the site. There is a paid "training" portion for this tool. This review is only for the free portion.
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tag(s): reading comprehension (119), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

In this era of high-stakes testing, it is imperative that students be able to read and comprehend at an expected rate in order to complete the tasks within the designated time. Think about the implications for improving state test scores and PSAT or SAT college entrance exams! Demonstrate Spreeder on your classroom projector or interactive whiteboard by copying and pasting practice passages from your state's Department of Education link to state testing. Link to SAT practice sites such as College Board SAT Preparation Center, reviewed here, or Test Prep Review, reviewed here. Provide opportunities for students to try it on individual classroom computers. Provide a direct link to Spreeder from your classroom web page or wiki. This will enable motivated students to take charge of increasing their own reading speed, or you may want to incorporate it with homework assignments and make parents aware of it.

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101 Questions - Dan Myer

Grades
2 to 12
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At 101 Questions, look at the image or video, and then write a question for the picture. The question can only be 140 characters total. You can also click to ...more
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At 101 Questions, look at the image or video, and then write a question for the picture. The question can only be 140 characters total. You can also click to skip a picture. Submit your own picture or video, and get points for the perplexity it inspires, or even join the top 10 lists. Save images to your favorites and classify by tags using your membership. Note that the public can participate so some responses may not be appropriate for younger viewers. Preview and monitor or have an adult operate the site together.

tag(s): creative writing (171), creativity (120), images (275), writing prompts (94)

In the Classroom

Creative fluency begins here! Set up a whole class account. Use this site in language arts: discover main idea, details, cause and effect, or even an inspirational writing prompt. Find ways to group images together based on characteristics or attributes. Use in gifted or enrichment situations, for inspiration for problem-based learning. Sequence the images to find ways to form a logical plot. Find ways to make Perplexors out of the given image. In math, write short word problems to accompany images or videos. Find ways to illustrate vocabulary definitions with examples and non-examples. As a morning work challenge, find questions, details, or even other questions. As a writing challenge, look for the image that conveys the mood or feeling you are trying to convey. In science, submit examples to illustrate scientific concepts. Use to generate scientific method style questions based on the given image. In social studies, find images to convey feelings represented by the time being studied. Challenge students to make a historical statement or political statement by finding and adding to an appropriate image. ESL/ELL students can use this site to help acquire conversation/questioning skills. In world language class, have students generate questions in their new language, even if they do not post them. In art, find mood, theme, style, or self expression images. Be sure to monitor the blog content. Put similar content on your own classroom blog. Challenge students to create their own 101 question images or videos to share on your class blog, inviting viewers to respond with questions in the comments.

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ThinkExist - Harold S. Geneen

Grades
4 to 12
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ThinkExist is a Quotation Search Engine and Directory with over 300,000 quotations by over 20,000 authors in the English language. Find quotes by author, topic, keywords, or contributors....more
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ThinkExist is a Quotation Search Engine and Directory with over 300,000 quotations by over 20,000 authors in the English language. Find quotes by author, topic, keywords, or contributors. Narrow your search by subtopics such as nationality or theme such as love or wisdom. Membership to the site isn't required to find and share quotes; however, registration with email allows you to save favorite quotes, receive a quote of the day email, and become a contributor. This site does include significant advertisements that seem to adjust depending on what you search. Preview and monitor young people suing the site. Depending on what search terms they enter, the ads may not be "student appropriate."
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tag(s): famous people (21), quotations (25), search engines (64), writing prompts (94)

In the Classroom

Use the site to have a quote of the day (or week) for your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the site with students to use when in need of a quote for classroom projects. FInd writing prompt quotes based on a search term. In literature or social studies classes, look at the list of quotes by an author or famous person. Invite students to create online posters (or traditional bulletin boards) about the author/person using selected quotes. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here).

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Pomodoro Timer - Ryhan Hassan

Grades
3 to 12
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Manage time more effectively using this online timer that reflects the Pomodoro time management technique. Based on the belief that proper time management and use of materials will...more
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Manage time more effectively using this online timer that reflects the Pomodoro time management technique. Based on the belief that proper time management and use of materials will increase productivity, this timer is set for 25 minutes. This allows for a 5 minute rest period before restarting the activity. Click start and the timer counts back from 25 minutes with a digital display and timeline bar.

tag(s): organizational skills (127), time (141)

In the Classroom

Display the timer on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to encourage students to maintain focus and put forth effort for 25 minutes with the understanding that a break will follow. Challenge older students to research the Pomodoro time management method and share other time-management techniques.

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Edublog - Edublogs.org

Grades
K to 12
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Blog your way into the latest social technology using Edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids ...more
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Blog your way into the latest social technology using Edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids some of the "public interaction" that can offer inappropriate content. Upgrade to more advanced features, to include more options. The additional information on blogging makes this site very valuable even if you already have a blogging platform. Find a plethora of advice, tutorials, pdfs, and lesson plans for blogging. This site is a great reference site for all who are beginning to use blogs, or even look for more varied and effective ways to log with students, or even other classes. Compare this tool to other free blogging tools mentioned in TeachersFirst's Blog Basics for the Classroom . This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.
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tag(s): blogs (85), DAT device agnostic tool (173)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite for all of your blogging needs. Find very informative instructions on blogging, and follow the student blogging challenge lesson plans. ) Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Peruse through the various subjects and discover how other teachers use blogging in their classrooms. Using the given PDFs on blogging start up, parent guidelines, incorporating into subject areas, and adapt to make them suitable for you. Look at a variety of examples to help devise your own unique style to meet your students' needs.

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Book TV - National Cable Satellite Corporation & C-SPAN

Grades
6 to 12
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend....more
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend. You can easily explore the archived programs, video library, or books and topics by searching the title, author, category, keyword, or browsing all of the listings. Watch the online videos or listen to podcasts of interviews with the authors from Book TV's After Words. There is a lot here to explore, and it appears to be ever-growing! You can find past telecast videos on YouTube, as well, in case you want to be able to download them to use offline. Click the YouTube menu. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
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tag(s): biographies (91), independent reading (129), interviews (17), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Use the online resources from this website to accompany your nonfiction literature. This collection is particularly useful when reading about historical figures. Make books and authors come alive for your students by accessing and projecting videos on your interactive whiteboard and sharing "Book Notes," biographies, and more. Lure students into independent reading by allowing them to explore the videos and find a book they might enjoy reading. After viewing a program or reading a book, have students share their opinions in a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Quiz Factor - Quiz Factor Limited

Grades
4 to 12
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Quiz Factor offers quizzes that are not about your typical "education" topics. There are both popular and specialist subjects. Some topic examples are: Animals and Nature, Cinema and...more
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Quiz Factor offers quizzes that are not about your typical "education" topics. There are both popular and specialist subjects. Some topic examples are: Animals and Nature, Cinema and Actors, Fashion and Design, History and Politics, Religion and Traditions, Science, Sports and Games, Technology and Manufacturing, and many more. At Quiz Factor you can climb the Leaderboards and win prizes. There are three types of quizzes: The Ladder, Time Trials, and True/False. You can also make your own quizzes. (At the time of this review, this feature was "coming soon.") This site is from the UK, and some questions in the General Knowledge section test facts you would know if you've been to the UK.

tag(s): animals (291), cultures (110), design (84), fashion (10), quiz (88), quizzes (100), radio (27), religions (68), sports (98), substitutes (21)

In the Classroom

Set up a computer or two in your classroom for those earlier finishers to take a quiz on a topic of their choice. Do you have students who have a deep interest in a certain topic or subject? Allow them to create a quiz for Quiz Factor. Have the student save the quiz, so you can view it before submission. This would be a great activity for some gifted students! Have students create quizzes after they have completed a research project. They could present their findings to the class, then allow the class to use their notes from the presentation to complete the quiz.

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Thunks - Get Thunking - Ian Gilbert

Grades
4 to 12
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A Thunk is a beguilingly simple-looking yes/no question that stops you in your tracks to look at the world in a whole new light. Over a thousand Thunks are included ...more
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A Thunk is a beguilingly simple-looking yes/no question that stops you in your tracks to look at the world in a whole new light. Over a thousand Thunks are included on the site with simple yes or no responses. View results easily, read comments, or submit your own comment by including your name, email (will not be displayed), and comment. Thunks can be chosen by categories such as good and bad, human condition, or friendship. At the time of this review, we found no evidence of inappropriate public comments (and we looked hard!) , but you might want to preview before turning young people loose on the site.
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tag(s): logic (243), problem solving (278), questioning (33)

In the Classroom

Display a Thunk on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a discussion/debate starter. Have students choose a response and defend their answer. Allow students to discuss their answer throughout the week and survey responses again. Have students create their own Thunks to be discussed in class. Create a bulletin board and allow students to post comments and reactions to the question posed. Use a Thunk as a journal writing prompt. Make this page available for students who are "stuck" thinking of something to write about.

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KikuText - kikutext.com

Grades
K to 12
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Kikutext is a safe and easy way to send reminders to parents via text message. The site is set up so that students do not see the teachers' phone numbers ...more
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Kikutext is a safe and easy way to send reminders to parents via text message. The site is set up so that students do not see the teachers' phone numbers nor do the teachers see the students' or parents' phone numbers. Create an account easily with basic contact information, then share the class code with parents. Parents text the code to be added and begin receiving updates and to respond to text messages. Communication through this site is safe and secure. This service is free; however, standard text messaging fees apply.

tag(s): classroom management (153), parents (61)

In the Classroom

Send out whole-class reminders to parents of upcoming tests, project due dates, school events, and more. Set up this site (and parents and students numbers) during the first week of school or at Back to School night. Use this site as an alternative to conference reminder slips (and save paper). Keep parents "in the loop" about students' behavior, achievement, and more with this tool. Imagine sending a text as you discover missing homework. Suddenly, accountability steps up a notch!

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Zotero - Center for History and New Media at George Mason University

Grades
8 to 12
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Use this "easy-to-use" tool to help collect, organize, cite, and share research sources. Downloadable versaions run as a stand-alone or as a add-on to Firefox. Once installed, the tool...more
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Use this "easy-to-use" tool to help collect, organize, cite, and share research sources. Downloadable versaions run as a stand-alone or as a add-on to Firefox. Once installed, the tool saves information several ways: through a click at the bottom of the web browser, by a click on favorite/bookmark bar, or manually. Files already on computers can be included with files saved from the internet. Items can be grouped and sorted according to individual needs. Information saved through Zotero can be accessed on any computer that has the extension installed. The site includes a helpful quick start video guide explaining features included with the program.

tag(s): citations (37), evaluating sources (14), note taking (38), primary sources (93)

In the Classroom

Depending on school computer settings, you may need to have tech support install the program for you. Use Zotero to collect and organize classroom resources. Share with older students as a resource for gathering and citing information. Demonstrate how to use the site on your interactive whiteboard including showing the quick-start video. One of the advanced features of the site is the creation of groups. Share this with students who may be capable of using the feature to collaborate with others.

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Team Fink Book Groups: Extreme Speed Booking - Anastasis Academy

Grades
4 to 12
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Get inspired and motivated to explore different books with Extreme Speed Booking. Choose the "Books" tab to find a list of books. Take two minutes to look at the first ...more
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Get inspired and motivated to explore different books with Extreme Speed Booking. Choose the "Books" tab to find a list of books. Take two minutes to look at the first book. Click to go directly to the Amazon preview of the book, including several pages of the first chapter(s). When two minutes is up, record your impressions of the book and move on to the next one on the list. There is a "share page" option on the site to record responses; however, these go back to the site owners.
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tag(s): book lists (133), independent reading (129), literature (275)

In the Classroom

Inspire reluctant or hesitant readers with this site. Have the entire class participate in one session. Ring a bell every two minutes, allow one minute for quick responses, then move on to the next book. Create your own recording document similar to the one on the site using Google Docs reviewed here. Explore the Find a Book portion of the site and create your own Extreme Speed Booking site. Tailor it to your students' needs or class content using an easy to use website creator such as Weebly reviewed here or a class wiki. Have students create their own speed booking website based on books they enjoy reading. Create a graph to record students' interests in books to post for reading choices.

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Book Report Sandwich Station - Scholastic

Grades
2 to 6
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Take the old "sandwich" style book report and put a new spin on it. Enjoy using this simple book report format. After inputting your name and the name and author ...more
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Take the old "sandwich" style book report and put a new spin on it. Enjoy using this simple book report format. After inputting your name and the name and author of the book, write different parts of the book report as parts of a "sandwich." The lettuce is the plot summary, followed by the mayonnaise (plot climax), tomato, cheese, turkey, and bread. Each layer asks for a brief input. After filling in all the parts, you can select if you would like to leave room to draw a picture on the printed report. A print preview displays the completed report before you print it out. The printed version does not include the sandwich images, just the information you entered.
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tag(s): book reports (37)

In the Classroom

After reading a book as a class, demonstrate how to fill in the "layers" of the sandwich, all the while discussing the elements of fiction with your students. Share how to use this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. After that, put your students who have read the same book in pairs to create a joint book report. Alternatively, literature circle groups can use this report for a culminating project. Since the report isn't printed out in "sandwich" format, cut colored paper into the different parts of the sandwich and mount what prints. The sandwich book report is a perfect place to start upper primary, ESL/ELL, and special education students with the elements of fiction and what is required in a book report.

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Children's Music Song of the Month - Nancy Stewart

Grades
K to 4
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Download a free song each month including the audio file, sheet music, MP3 recording, and accompanying activities from Children's Music by Nancy. Also available on the site are monthly...more
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Download a free song each month including the audio file, sheet music, MP3 recording, and accompanying activities from Children's Music by Nancy. Also available on the site are monthly archives since 2006. Many songs include links to similar songs available on the site. Search by categories such as Science, Language, Holidays or alphabetically. Simple instructions for downloading resources are included on the site along with directions for making your own CD with the songs.

tag(s): holidays (151), preK (292), songs (53)

In the Classroom

Use content area songs on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and speakers to introduce new units. For example, when beginning a unit on the Solar System, play "In Our Solar System (Bye Bye Pluto)" to introduce students to the planets' names. Share the site with your school's music teacher as a way to extend activities between subjects. Help students learn Spanish or French by learning songs from the site together. Be sure to share this link with parents. They may want to put some of the songs on the family MP3 player to enjoy on car trips.
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Reading Bear - Watch, Know, Learn

Grades
K to 2
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Reading Bear is a systematic program that teaches beginning vocabulary and concepts while introducing phonics patterns. The Getting Started video gives an overview of the program...more
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Reading Bear is a systematic program that teaches beginning vocabulary and concepts while introducing phonics patterns. The Getting Started video gives an overview of the program as it explains the software, videos, and tips for using the system. Choose from any phonics sounds or start from the beginning of the program. Then choose from different video or slideshow tutorials (such as sound it out quickly, let me sound it out, or audio and silent sentences). As sounds are pronounced, the corresponding letter is highlighted. Quizzes are available at the end of each section. Choose from different settings to adjust font, letter color, or order of presentation. At the time of this review, 16 presentations are available. The goal of the site is to create a total of 50 presentations. So check back often.

Some of the video clips are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): alphabet (89), phonics (71), preK (292)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent resource for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Choose from the different options when presenting letter sounds in your classroom to present letters in different formats. Create a link on classroom computers to use as a phonics center activity. Share this site with parents through your classroom website or newsletter as a wonderful way to practice and learn letter sounds at home. Use this site with ESL/ELL students. Speech pathologists and special education teachers may want to bookmark this excellent site, too.
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Wondermind - Tate Liverpool

Grades
4 to 12
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Wondermind is a set of four mini-activities with accompanying videos, illustrating the fascinating ways our brains work. Experience the activities/illustrations to help prepare for...more
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Wondermind is a set of four mini-activities with accompanying videos, illustrating the fascinating ways our brains work. Experience the activities/illustrations to help prepare for the interactive video that explains an aspect of the brain, such as how we learn language, how the brain develops from childhood to adulthood, how memory works, how we sense our own location, and how we learn self-control. Wondermind, set to the theme of Alice in Wonderland, will delight you with the quirky, clever, or just plain weird art inspired by Alice in Wonderland and used as part of the designs. The activities can be skipped if you prefer to just view the videos.

tag(s): body systems (58), brain (73), human body (130), logic (243), psychology (66)

In the Classroom

Create a link on classroom computers for students to try the challenges and then view videos on your interactive whiteboard together. Check out the learning resources link to view a video with additional ideas for visual perception games and activities. Use as part of your Alice in Wonderland or Lewis Carroll units. If you teach psychology, anatomy, or health, this exploration will offer a new angle into how the brain works. Use the game and video about memory during a unit on study skills and discovering how students learn best. Teachers of gifted may also want to explore this site as part of a unit on the gifted mind. Learning support teachers may also want to use portions to help students better understand why their minds operate differently -- not "badly." Bright Asperger's students might be fascinated by the portion on the prefrontal cortex and how we learn self-control.
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ICT Games - Literacy - James Barrett

Grades
K to 5
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Check out these free interactive literacy games for the emergent learner. Practicing basic skills is an entertaining experience at ICT Games. The skills include: spelling patterns,...more
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Check out these free interactive literacy games for the emergent learner. Practicing basic skills is an entertaining experience at ICT Games. The skills include: spelling patterns, phoneme patterns, blending sounds, high frequency words, beginning science vocabulary, using rhyming to read new and unfamiliar words, and reading for understanding. It also has interactive dictionaries for the beginner through upper elementary learner. There is no registration required. Note that the site is from England, so there are minor spelling and terminology differences from U.S. English in a few games. Preview the specific game to be sure.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dictionaries (57), literacy (107), preK (292), reading comprehension (119), rhymes (32), spelling (169)

In the Classroom

Use your projector and interactive whiteboard to introduce the site. You might start with "The Wordy Woods," an interactive resource for displaying useful words. Start by checking the lists, and have students identify words they've already learned in class. Populate the "woods" with those first. Save this! Then, as students learn new words have them fill in the forest.

ESL/ELL students with emergent literacy skills will benefit from this site by practicing spelling and reading skills. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Use a program like Symbaloo, reviewed here, to create link shortcuts on your student computers. Include a link to the ITC Games on your classroom website or blog for students to practice at home. This is a great site for students to use for additional practice on a skill that is difficult.
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AskKids.com - Ask.com

Grades
2 to 8
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AskKids is more than a search engine for elementary/middle school students. Here you will see reviews for movies and games. You can ask questions and search for information by typing...more
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AskKids is more than a search engine for elementary/middle school students. Here you will see reviews for movies and games. You can ask questions and search for information by typing in keywords. AskKids organizes search results in related images, current events, and encyclopedia results. The Ask.com editorial team selected each website as child appropriate or as a relevant and practical site for reference and learning.

tag(s): search engines (64)

In the Classroom

Introduce AskKids on your interactive whiteboard or projector, showing the different options available. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. They can learn how to use a search engine, and how to ask questions to get the best results, by looking at this site with guidance from an adult. Post a link to AskKids.com on your webpage for easy access for students and parents. Make AskKids the home page on classroom computers for easy access.

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