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Myth and Truth: Independence Day - Traci Gardner / NCTE

Grades
3 to 5
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Four significant dates surrounding the Declaration of Independence are examined in this lesson that gets students thinking about why we celebrate the nation's birthday on July 4. With...more
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Four significant dates surrounding the Declaration of Independence are examined in this lesson that gets students thinking about why we celebrate the nation's birthday on July 4. With an emphasis on reading and writing, students investigate the origins and characteristics of myths, develop strategies for spotting bias and missing information, and, in the process, learn a lot about the birth of our Independence Day observance. Handouts, worksheets, and a project rubric are provided along with links to related resources. Aligned to NCTE/IRA standards. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): declaration of independence (13)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this FREE resource (that is ready to use). If you don't have time to do the entire lesson/mini-unit, find the "pieces" that fit with your curriculum.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Padlet - Padlet

Grades
2 to 12
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Padlet (formerly Wallwisher) is a free application to create an online bulletin board that you can use to display information for any topic. Easily create an account and build a ...more
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Padlet (formerly Wallwisher) is a free application to create an online bulletin board that you can use to display information for any topic. Easily create an account and build a new board. You can add images, links, videos, and more. You can return to add more later. Installing Padlet Mini in your browser allows you to add the page you are browsing to your Padlet and gives you a shortcut to view your Padlets. Settings allow you to make your wall completely open for public contributions, completely private, or moderated by you (you approve all contributions before they show). 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.

tag(s): bulletin boards (16), DAT device agnostic tool (199), gamification (65), images (266)

In the Classroom

Use a Padlet to collaborate in collecting ideas, brainstorming, and more. 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. Padlet does not show which work is attributable to which student, so you may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. If allowing all students to post to the wall or make comments, you may want to discuss internet safety and etiquette and establish specific class rules and consequences. Making the setting private again will prohibit content from later being replaced by classmate "vandalism."

Use a Padlet to collect webquest links and information to share with students. By leaving the wall open to comments, solicit input, discussions, or viewpoints from students. They can even contribute other sources they find. Color code resources to indicate different reading levels or "high challenge" sources for your more able students. Assign a student project where students choose their theme and design a wall around it. For example, have students create a wall about an environmental issue. They can include pictures, audio or video, links, and other information to display. Use as a new format for book reports. Do your students have favorites such as music or sports? Create a wall around these favorites or hobbies. Use a wall for grammar or vocabulary words. Create walls for debates or viewpoints. Post assignments, reminders, or study skills on a wall. Do you use student scribes or reporters? Use the Padlet site to create a wall with the goings-on in class. Embed your walls in a blog, wiki or website. See a similar tool (and more ideas to use either tool) in the TeachersFirst review of Lino here. Decide which one you prefer! Unfortunately, the Padlet embedded viewer is very small but can be scrolled in both directions.

Use Padlet as a class space during snow days and school breaks. Share the link to a teacher-created, public wall where students can share notes about what they did during the snow day or respond to a thought-provoking question.

Encourage creativity and organization by having your gifted students (or anyone doing independent projects) create Padlets to collect ideas, images, quotes, and more in an "idea bin." Require them to share a brainstorming Padlet to show you the ideas they considered before they launch into a project. Have them brainstorm (and later sort/color code) the possibilities for a creative problem solving or "Maker Faire" project. In writing or art classes, use Padlet as a virtual writer's journal or design notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips.

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Kidscoop - Kid Scoop

Grades
1 to 6
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This website accompanies Kidscoop, a feature in many local newspapers, but it is not necessary to have this section in your paper to enjoy the benefits of the site. Find ...more
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This website accompanies Kidscoop, a feature in many local newspapers, but it is not necessary to have this section in your paper to enjoy the benefits of the site. Find activities for kids, parents, and teachers that focus on the real news of the day. Interactive activities for kids include news summaries with pictures, word searches, book reviews, quizzes and polls of the week among many other activities. Teacher offerings include links to Newspapers in Education materials already familiar to many educators. Also, there are lesson plan banks, coupons, activity ideas to use with newspapers, weblinks, etc. Take some time to explore this great resource! Other offerings include a free subscription to a weekly newsletter and weekly writing prompts. Although many resources are available for purchase, there is plenty of free content that will be useful. Some features require Adobe Acrobat Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Find classroom follow-ups for leading news stories. Have your children write their own stories and create their own activities using these as models. Use the writing prompts to help children better grasp important news issues. Why not create an online newspaper for your class on a wiki? Learn more about wikis at TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through

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Happy Father's Day

Grades
K to 8
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This simple website offers information about the history of Father's Day, quotes about fathers, puzzles, cards, music, a countdown, and more. The music requires QuickTime. You can get...more
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This simple website offers information about the history of Father's Day, quotes about fathers, puzzles, cards, music, a countdown, and more. The music requires QuickTime. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): fathers day (12)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to think about the meaning behind the various quotes. Have students create their own quotes about their fathers. Using a picture (or student drawing) use a program such as ThingLink, (reviewed here,) to have students narrate the picture (sharing their quote or a memory).

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Starfall - Starfall Education

Grades
K to 3
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Find interactive reading activities for emergent/beginning readers at Starfall. It combines instruction in letter-sound relationships, word recognition skills, and reading comprehension...more
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Find interactive reading activities for emergent/beginning readers at Starfall. It combines instruction in letter-sound relationships, word recognition skills, and reading comprehension strategies. Seasonal activities can also be found on the main page. The four "levels" of reading at Starfall include "ABCs," "Learn to Read," "It's Fun to Read," and "I am Reading." There is also a premium option, this review is only for the free interactives. The APP (available on iOs, Google Play and Kindle Fire) offers more free intereactives than the web version.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), phonics (75)

In the Classroom

This website could be used for an entire class using your interactive whiteboard or projector. You could also set up a learning center for use during your L.A. block. Use this site to differentiate reading levels for your students. Be certain to save this site in your class favorites and list this site on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Madison's Top 100 List of Novels

Grades
1 to 12
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Ever wonder what the people in Madison, Wisconsin (home of the University of Wisconsin) are reading? Here's a helpful list of 100 Top Books complied by the Madison Public Library. ...more
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Ever wonder what the people in Madison, Wisconsin (home of the University of Wisconsin) are reading? Here's a helpful list of 100 Top Books complied by the Madison Public Library.

tag(s): reading lists (75)

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Good Books for Fourth and Fifth Graders - Children's Library of Pittsburgh

Grades
4 to 5
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From Atwater's "Mr. Popper's Penguins" to White's "Charlotte's Web," this list provides some great reading ideas for the 4th and 5th grade set. ...more
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From Atwater's "Mr. Popper's Penguins" to White's "Charlotte's Web," this list provides some great reading ideas for the 4th and 5th grade set.

tag(s): reading lists (75)

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Educators' Top 100 Children's Books - NEA

Grades
K to 12
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As a result of a teacher survey in 2007, NEA has compiled this list of 100 Best Books for Children from an online survey The list is unfortunately not labeled, ...more
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As a result of a teacher survey in 2007, NEA has compiled this list of 100 Best Books for Children from an online survey The list is unfortunately not labeled, as the 1999 listing from NEA was, with age/grade ranges. You will find many classics as well as some newer entries onto the shelves.

In the Classroom

Share this list with parents via handout or a link from your teacher web page or use it to help make selections for you classroom library. If you provide independent reading incentives, be sure to make this list available to your students as they make book choices. Perhaps you would like to let them "review" books from the list on a class reading wiki or include student mini-reviews on your teacher web page. Or print the list out in a large font and cut strips for books appropriate for your class in general. Allow any student who reads and reviews one of the books to sign the strip and hang it, along with a review, on an "Our Reading Accomplishments" bulletin board.

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Banned Books Week - American Library Association

Grades
3 to 12
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To celebrate America's history of the freedom to read, the American Library Association sets aside one week every year to celebrate that freedom by bringing the most important banned...more
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To celebrate America's history of the freedom to read, the American Library Association sets aside one week every year to celebrate that freedom by bringing the most important banned books to the attention of everyone. Traditionally the last week of September, in 2009 it is being held September 26 - October 3rd. Go to the website and vote for your favorite banned book and have your older students do the same! Find out what books have been most frequently challenged. Find out about the history of book burning, print out posters for your classroom, and find out how support of this week adds to the intellectual freedom of all readers: students, teachers, librarians, and other adults.

In the Classroom

Compare the banned book list with your curriculum. Find out how many of your students' favorite books (like To Kill a Mockingbird) have been on the list.

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Cramberry - Cramberry

Grades
3 to 12
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Flash cards made easy --- sounds cliche, but this isn't your normal flash card! Create words and meanings, organizing them into sets. Once a set is created, you may edit, ...more
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Flash cards made easy --- sounds cliche, but this isn't your normal flash card! Create words and meanings, organizing them into sets. Once a set is created, you may edit, add, delete, or share with others. Registration is so quick; you can create flash cards within 30 seconds. This website stores your word sets, and an easy login allows you to use them instantly. As you answer the flash cards, Cramberry tracks which cards you answer correctly. It will only flash cards that are giving you problems. Coming soon: you will be able to study on the go with a Cramberry application for your iPod or iPhone! This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): flash cards (46)

In the Classroom

Be sure to save this site in your favorites. SAT tutors need to know about Cramberry. Sign up all your students (check school policy first!). You may want to use a teacher email account and subaccounts for registration to establish the memberships by "number" and to provide complete monitoring of what students do. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Rotate the job of "card creator" throughout the school year and have the card creator share the word set with the rest of the class. Foreign language teachers will find this a must-have for teaching new words. This site could truly be useful in any subject area that teaches new vocabulary, dates, terms, formulas, and more: history, math, science, reading, etc. Of course, ESL, ELL, and special education students would benefit from the use of this site also.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ESL Bits - Skip Reske

Grades
3 to 8
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This site is an excellent way to help ESL and ELL students improve reading and comprehension skills using short passages of different kinds of reading. The site includes signs, ...more
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This site is an excellent way to help ESL and ELL students improve reading and comprehension skills using short passages of different kinds of reading. The site includes signs, multiple choice, true-false for details, questions on getting the "gist" of a reading, matching questions, and gap (fill-in) questions. This site is excellent for reading comprehension in the regular classroom too! Students select a "set" which contains a short sampling of each kind of question. Once they answer, they get immediate feedback.

tag(s): reading comprehension (116), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Since the subtitle for this page is "Reading Comprehension and Test Preparation," recommend this site to ESL and ELL students preparing for standardized tests. Save it in your favorites on class computers and provide the link on your class website for students to access both in the classroom and out. The activities would also work well on interactive whiteboard.

Share the "Signs" link with your students. Challenge students to create their own signs, similar to those used at this site. Have cooperative learning groups create interactive posters featuring their signs using a tool such as (PicLits - explained here). Share the "PicLits" on an interactive whiteboard or projector.

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C Beebie's Stories and Rhymes - BBC

Grades
K to 2
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This collection of online written and oral interactive stories features British pronunciation, but the story clips are short and easy to understand. Many of the characters are also...more
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This collection of online written and oral interactive stories features British pronunciation, but the story clips are short and easy to understand. Many of the characters are also on American television (64 Zoo Lane, Teletubbies, Jakers, and others). Students will enjoy learning clicking to the next page of the story as they view the animation and frequent rhyming sequences. Some of the stories also require readers to click on elements of the story in order for it to continue, or to hear special dialog. All the stories are also available in print format. The home part of the site keeps track of the places readers have looked at and offers games and links to other C Beebie features.

This site requires Flash and Windows Media or similar player. The printable pages require Adobe Acrobat. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): interactive stories (32), rhymes (33)

In the Classroom

Add this link to your classroom computer for students to use for extra reading practice. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Set this site up as a learning center (or using individual computers, if available). Don't forget the headsets! List this link on your class website. Use free printouts to reinforce what was learned in the stories and for students to take home or do as homework. The "Watch and Listen" link at the left will take parents to a page where they can download podcast versions of the stories to take in the car!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Pinky Dinky Doo - Cartoon Pizza

Grades
K to 2
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Pinky Dinky Doo is a vibrant cartoon character who teaches children the concepts of storytelling and problem solving while simultaneously introducing them to colorful vocabulary. Have...more
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Pinky Dinky Doo is a vibrant cartoon character who teaches children the concepts of storytelling and problem solving while simultaneously introducing them to colorful vocabulary. Have students click on the Your Story Box option to create their own imaginative story with a beginning, middle and end. As the story is created, Pinky Dinky Doo reads the story aloud while students read along as the words are highlighted on the page. Additional audio snippets make the retelling fun and even more cartoon-like. Upon completion, students can submit their stories to the Pinky Dinky Doo pod cast so they can be read by others. There are also links to Printables that include coloring pages, crafts, and other activities. Visit the Videos link to view fifteen short video clips from the show. There are also links to podcasts, interactive "games," and a Grown-Ups link. The Grown-Ups link has an "Educational Approach" section with several classroom ideas. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): elements (36), problem solving (272), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Note: If you have students create their own stories, be sure to reinforce basic Internet safety concepts about protecting their identity and to obtain parent permission to place their child's work online. Share this colorful site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Download entertaining Pinky Dinky Doo podcasts to use in a listening center. Check out the Printables, perfect for reinforcing early literacy concepts such as retelling and sequencing. Speech/language or ESL/ELL teachers can use the retelling option for vocabulary development. Allow students to watch a storytelling episode on the classroom computer and retell it by creating a comic strip of the story. Be sure to list this link on your class website, so students can access both in and of the classroom.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Myths and Legends - E2BN

Grades
3 to 8
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If myths are part of your classroom's curriculum, then check out Myths and Legends (an English site). Most stories are spoken in English (British and Gaelic). Not only can you...more
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If myths are part of your classroom's curriculum, then check out Myths and Legends (an English site). Most stories are spoken in English (British and Gaelic). Not only can you listen and read myths and legends from countries around the world, but you can also record your own. In order for your class to upload myths and legends, you must do a quick registry at the site. Registration does require an email address. 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.

Click on the Teachers link to explore lessons and other resources. Your class may wish to leave comments after they listen to the stories. Check out the Gallery, which shows photos of the actual setting for the myth. Unsure of the archaic terms? Then use the glossary that's provided for each myth and legend. Flash is required and can be gotten here: TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. With younger students, use this site in your listening/computer corner for students to listen and read along the multitude of stories at this site. Your class may opt to write their own story of local myths or legends, and then submit it to this site. Have students write online legend or myth books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Literacy Resources from Catawba County, NC - Catawba County Schools

Grades
K to 5
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At this site, the Catawba County Schools in North Carolina has generously given you hundreds of literacy resources. From signs for your walls, to readers' theatre skits, games, writing...more
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At this site, the Catawba County Schools in North Carolina has generously given you hundreds of literacy resources. From signs for your walls, to readers' theatre skits, games, writing tools, and more, you will need hours to peruse this site thoroughly. This site grew from Summer Staff Development workshops. Click on the "Literacy Stations Board" link at the top of the page to get an overview of the offerings. To download the resources, you will need Word Office and Power Point, as well as Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can get Adobe Acrobat from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): resources (112)

In the Classroom

Search this site for some new ideas to use in your classroom. Take advantage of the free resources and use the signs on your classroom walls, the printable pages, the readers' theater scripts, and more. Lots to find at this gold mine!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Zamzar - Zamzar

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 1  Comments
   
Need an offline copy of a video? Need to make changes to pdf documents? This online tool allows you to download videos or convert files between different formats, including conversion...more
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Need an offline copy of a video? Need to make changes to pdf documents? This online tool allows you to download videos or convert files between different formats, including conversion of .pdf files to Word documents and Word to .pdfs. You can also convert music, video, and photo files to different formats of your choice. This is a VERY useful tool. Select the file to import or the URL of the video to download, the change to be made, and receive a link to the converted file in the new format via email. Then click to download the file from the link. You have only 24 hours to retrieve the file (RIGHT- click to download or Save Target as)!

The documents are editable after conversion. Images will not be as "editable" as text. The text comes in within a text box, but can be edited. Be aware that many school email spam filters may block the Zamzar emails because they view them as "spam." If emails do not come through or you cannot download from Zamzar's link, request the converted files be sent to a home email address and bring them to school "on a stick."

Be aware: there are MANY advertisements at this site, so this many not be a site that you want students to explore independently. Also, the site mentions having to register. You do not need to register to use most of the features.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

Mark this tool in your favorites for easy access. Teachers should model ethical use of electronic resources (other people's work) for students. Making a "derivative work" from someone else's pdf handout should include a printed credit within the new document, giving credit for the original source, Ex. "Adapted from a handout by xxx available at www.theoriginalhandout.pdf." Such derivative use should only be done when the original copyright permits it, such as using materials that grant permission for classroom use. Be sure to give proper credit for videos and other files you save locally.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

One main problem with the site is that you need to enter the email address and wait for the email to download the file. There is a nice pdf conversion site http://www.pdfaid.com where you can convert and download the file instantly. Disclaimer: I am the owner of the website. pdf, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Ultimate Reading List - ultimatereadinglist.com

Grades
3 to 12
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This site consolidates book and author information from several important book lists, including prize winners and best book sites. Students can find the names of the books that won...more
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This site consolidates book and author information from several important book lists, including prize winners and best book sites. Students can find the names of the books that won awards, the number of books authors have written, biographical information about the author (from Wikipedia), book summaries (usually written by the awarding entity), and other special features, including a lifetime reading list. A section showing books that are on more than one reading list allows selective readers to choose books carefully. Be aware: this site does include some minor advertising.

tag(s): biographies (87), book lists (128), independent reading (128), literature (275)

In the Classroom

Use this site to acquaint your students with some writing and book awards, to check out Oprah's newest recommendations, and to encourage students to set up their own lifetime reading list. Have students choose books to read then complete a multi-media alternate to the traditional book report. How about a fictitious blog entry written from the perspective of the main character? Or maybe a book report written online, using an interactive book creator such as Bookemon (reviewed here).

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It's a Goal - Spark Island

Grades
K to 2
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This spelling activity provides the beginning and ending of a word. Students must click to choose the correct middle vowel sound. There are pictures provided at the top of the ...more
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This spelling activity provides the beginning and ending of a word. Students must click to choose the correct middle vowel sound. There are pictures provided at the top of the page for additional help to non-readers. The words are also read aloud. The site also provides printable pictures, lesson ideas, and printable activities. This activity is a free sample from a site that charges for other activities. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): spelling (168)

In the Classroom

List this link on your class website for students to practice in and out of the classroom. Share the site with students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students try the activities on their own. Even non-readers can participate, thanks to the audio and pictures.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Celebrate Hispanic Heritage - Scholastic

Grades
2 to 8
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This site highlights the historical contributions of Spanish speaking people, focusing on Hispanic America. Language learning opportunities, research projects, cultural analysis, and...more
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This site highlights the historical contributions of Spanish speaking people, focusing on Hispanic America. Language learning opportunities, research projects, cultural analysis, and biography writing are just some of the offerings available at three levels. The teacher's guide provides all the materials for each lesson, but the lesson is certainly adaptable to including the Latina students in your classroom who might have contributions to make. Additional site activities include music, recipes, crafts, games and other writing suggestions. In the Pinata concentration games, students learn a few Spanish words as they play!

tag(s): cinco de mayo (12), explorers (61), hispanic (18), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Use the activities on this site as part of cultural heritage or explorer study in social studies or in conjunction with Latino literature selections in your reading classes. As you study communities and cultures with younger students, this site will give you a way to focus on an example. Use this site as part of your Cinco de Mayo celebration, as well. Many of the activities would work well as either whole class lessons on an interactive whiteboard or projector or small group "scavenger hunt" activities for upper grades on lab or laptop computers (make sure reading levels are appropriate if students must read on their own).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Read Kiddo Read - James Patterson

Grades
K to 12
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"Dedicated to making your kids readers for life" is the sub-heading to James Patterson's new site ReadKiddoRead. This well-known author has put together a loaded site full of...more
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"Dedicated to making your kids readers for life" is the sub-heading to James Patterson's new site ReadKiddoRead. This well-known author has put together a loaded site full of inspiration, book suggestions, author interviews, and more to inspire educators and parents to promote reading. The titles are divided by age (0-8, 6 & Up, 8+ & Up, or 10 & Up). Search by category (within age levels) such as Fantasy & Other Worlds, Real World Fiction, Action/Adventure/Mystery, and others.

Teachers who have reluctant readers at all ages will discover ample ways to help them find exciting books. Make sure you click on the Books for Boys link at the top of the page to find targeted, page-turning books with boy protagonists. The books at this site also include brief descriptions.

tag(s): book lists (128)

In the Classroom

Sign up for Patterson's newsletter (free) to keep updated on news from the youth literature world. This is definitely a site to save on your classroom favorites and also list on your class website. Provide this link for families to use to find summer reading resources.

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