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Google Earth - Google

Grades
K to 12
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Bring the world into your classroom with Google Earth. This interactive view of the Earth (and more) is available on all web browsers. Find landforms, geographic locations features,...more
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Bring the world into your classroom with Google Earth. This interactive view of the Earth (and more) is available on all web browsers. Find landforms, geographic locations features, pictures, and more from around the world using this satellite-powered software. As you spin the globe, you can tilt to view locations at an angle to show elevation, click to play a "tour" or "fly" from one location to another, or simply open tours and placemarker files created by others. Once you are comfortable, try making tours and placemarkers of your own.

tag(s): climate (93), earth (230), landforms (48), landmarks (27), news (261), oceans (161)

In the Classroom

Use tutorials from this site to learn more, or try some Google Earth files from TeachersFirst's Globetracker's Mission to get a taste of what the program can do. Get started by exploring the different LAYERS available in the left side and searching a location you know. Locate and try the tools to drag, tilt, zoom, and even measure distance. Extensive user forums are available through the help menus.

Placemarker files created by you "live" on the computer where you make or save them and are not shared on the web. Note that your computer will ask whether you wish to save your "temporary places" (any places you have marked during a session) each time you close Google Earth. If many students use that computer, you may find you have a disorganized mess of saved places. Be sure to direct students to either name their saved places logically and file them into folders or NOT to save them to My Places! Students and teachers can create placemarker (.kmz or .kml) files and share them as email attachments, files on a USB "stick," or any other means you would use to share a file, just like a Word document.

Another practical tip: if students are using Google Earth on several machines at the same time, you may put a heavy load on your school network. Plan accordingly, perhaps having groups alternate their Google Earth time if it becomes sluggish.

Use Google Earth to teach geography or simply give location context to class readings or current events, especially on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Ex. you can tilt to show the peaks scaled by Lewis and Clark or volcanoes that rise in the Aleutians. Have students show the locations of historic events or literary settings and create placemarkers with links to learn more. Placemarker text is editable by going to the placemarker's "properties" or "info," so students can enter the text description, place title, and any inks they want to include, such as a link to a certain passage of text, an image of a character, or news image/article for a current events map. Students who know html code can get even more sophisticated in what they include in placemarkers. Have students/groups create and play a "tour" of critical locations for global warming, a comparison of volcanoes, or a family history of immigration. Navigate the important locations in a work of literature using Google Lit Trips or search the web for placemarker files connected to civil war battles, natural resources, and more. Turn layers on and off to look at population centers and transportation systems. Teach the concept of scale/proportion using a tactile experience on an interactive whiteboard and the scale and measurement tools. See more ideas at the teacher-created Google Earth 101 wiki reviewed here. Even if you do not venture into creating your own placemarker files, there are many already made and available for use by teachers and students. TeachersFirst's Globetracker's Mission includes a weekly file to follow the Mission.

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HeartPower! Online - American Heart Association

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K to 8
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HeartPower! Online is a curriculum-based program about heart health. The site provides educational information about nutrition, physical activity, living tobacco-free, and how the heart...more
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HeartPower! Online is a curriculum-based program about heart health. The site provides educational information about nutrition, physical activity, living tobacco-free, and how the heart works. The curriculum guide is loaded with printables, lesson plans, stories, songs, games and other science-based resources organized according to grade level. There is no fee or registration for this site. Just click and go!

tag(s): heart (43), nutrition (154)

In the Classroom

The site is so simple, you can utilize the entire pre-prepared curriculum and lesson plans or just add pieces of it to your current curriculum. Integrate the lessons into your language arts component as cross-curricular activities. The pre-K to 1st grade activities and curriculum are available in Spanish. Choose the Spanish version for ESL/ELL lessons or enrichment activities. The Spanish version would be a great supplement for secondary Spanish teachers. Have your science or health class create a Heart Health wiki or use Click2Map, reviewed here, to map out walking landmarks for your community.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Voki - Oddcast

Grades
K to 12
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Create a free, animated speaking character that represents yourself for a blog, wiki, or any website. Voki can also be emailed to others and downloaded to phones. Appropriate for student...more
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Create a free, animated speaking character that represents yourself for a blog, wiki, or any website. Voki can also be emailed to others and downloaded to phones. Appropriate for student use in grades 6-12 but for teachers at all levels.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): speaking (25)

In the Classroom

Access to a microphone is required to record a voice. There is an option to use text to voice (however, it does not have great sound.) Import audio from a file or use a cell phone instead to capture audio. Only one minute of audio can be recorded so be brief. Students need to carefully think of their narrative before recording. Users must be able to copy and paste html code for use in an external site.

Use the controls to create your character's style, click customization to further refine your character, change your background, and add your voice. Keep in mind that animated backgrounds may take longer to load on your site. When done, click publish to view and copy the embed code which can then be used on a blog, wiki, or web pages.

Monitor all aspects of student production and use for appropriateness and copyright. If concerned about using student email, consider creating a class account for students to use. Be sure that students understand not to change the Voki of other students if using a class account. Check your school district policy about using emails or identifying student information on the Internet.

Introduce and share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this free site to record a greeting for students that can be seen on the start page of your blog, wiki, or website. Record online assignment information that is spoken by the Voki (always more pleasing to look at than the teacher!). Use this to share homework assignments, a message from you (via a substitute), and more. Use a character that is interesting or matches the assignment you may be leaving. Use Voki to record two different opinions or viewpoints and create a poll of students to view reactions. Use the Voki in Math by posing possible solutions to problems and create a class discussion or poll to determine which one is the actual answer. As students are working on projects, create a Voki that provides hints and tips for students. Allow students to use Voki to provide peer assessment to others. Consider using Voki in place of other assignments such as "What I did this summer vacation..." or "Here is information about me..." Use in any language class to record narratives or translations. Students can create a variety of Voki recordings over time which can show their learning of a language over time. Create classroom newscasts using student(s) on a rotating basis. Use Voki for vocabulary exercises which can be created by students or the teacher. The possibilities for this tool are endless. The quick and engaging nature of this tool offers unlimited uses.

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Letters About Literature - Center for the Book: Library of Congress

Grades
2 to 12
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This site accepts students' letters to their favorite authors, describing why they liked their book(s). Each student may write only one letter. Students can write to any author, living...more
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This site accepts students' letters to their favorite authors, describing why they liked their book(s). Each student may write only one letter. Students can write to any author, living or dead. Each year, judging of the letters takes place in December. So this is a great site during the fall months! On the site, there are links to a teacher's guide for helping the students write the letter and lesson plans about the letter writing.

tag(s): authors (123), letter writing (20), literature (273), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Have your class read some of the award-winning letters from other years on the overhead projector, interactive whiteboard, or projector. Talk about what the winning characteristics are. Share the suggestions the site makes to encourage your writers to use clear and metaphorical language. Use this site to teach your students proper letter writing skills. Check out the Letter Generator for some ideas, reviewed here. Check with your administration to see what their guidelines are for submitting contest entries, particularly submitting names and addresses of students. The site is quite flexible about those types of requirements. Have the class share their letters and create a "referral" library for students looking for outside reading materials. Have your international students share letters about international writers to encourage broader reading interests. Why not use the letters to create a class online book of letters, using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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A Book and A Hug - Barb Langridge

Grades
K to 12
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This well-designed website has books for 8 levels of readers from picture books to adult-level subjects in 17 general categories. Search using the advanced search function or browse...more
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This well-designed website has books for 8 levels of readers from picture books to adult-level subjects in 17 general categories. Search using the advanced search function or browse through the favorites. Look for fiction or non-fiction, parts of series, and best of all books for reluctant readers. All books feature a summary and also an illustration taken from the book. The descriptions of the books are very enticing and often include quotes from the text.

tag(s): literature (273)

In the Classroom

This is a great source for finding and showing students how to find independent reading. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Since students often ask for books like Harry Potter, for example, put this link on your class web page. Show students how to click on the keywords once they find a category they like. When students ask for another book in the same series, this is a great place to start looking. Allowing reluctant readers to search and find their own book is a way to build investment in their reading future. Encourage students to write their own reviews of favorite books not found here. Use the site for a lesson in citing sources and punctuating quotations.

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Spell with flickr - Erik Kastner

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for a clever way to display a title? Enter your words, and this site will look through flickr pictures to create titles from individual pictures. Note that ads display ...more
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Looking for a clever way to display a title? Enter your words, and this site will look through flickr pictures to create titles from individual pictures. Note that ads display throughout the site as well as while the images are loading. Simply take a snapshot of the words (use print screen for PC or command-shift-4 on a Mac) or drag each letter image to your desktop. Alternatively, use the embed code provided. Don't like one or more of the letters? Simply click each letter and a new one will be generated. See an example here.

tag(s): images (273)

In the Classroom

Students can use this site to create interesting and unique titles for projects, presentations, or blog titles. Use this site to make your lessons grab your students' attention (which isn't always easy). Decorate your classroom with intriguing signs and reminders created using this tool. Have students use this site themselves for projects, intriguing spelling practice, or more. Kindergarten teachers might like to "show" students what their names look like in multiple type fonts and to make bus list bulletin boards using these creative lettering forms. Art teachers can use this tool to demonstrate different types of letter graphics and letter collages. This might be a good link to list on your class website so families can access the site at home.

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Public Domain Clip Art Blog - sookietex

Grades
K to 12
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Use this searchable blog to locate images within the public domain for you to use on web sites, in multimedia projects, and more. The site provides complete source information on ...more
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Use this searchable blog to locate images within the public domain for you to use on web sites, in multimedia projects, and more. The site provides complete source information on each image, as well as its rationale for treating the image as "public domain." Public Domain images are not subject to copyright restrictions, so you may use them in places that do not qualify for "Fair Use," such as on open web sites, blogs, etc. Though we are not legal experts and this review should in no way be deemed to be legal advice, our editors found that the evidence of public domain seems credible on this site. The site does include extensive advertising and links to non-education topics and blogs, the collection is very useful for teachers of any level or subject. Note: Because of extensive advertising and links, teachers should spell out specific consequences for following these non-educational links and may want to limit use of this site by students to times when you can monitor directly.

tag(s): clip art (9), images (273)

In the Classroom

Find images to illustrate curriculum topics, such as historical photos and cultural images. Include them in activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Art teachers can use images freely to illustrate design concepts. Create montages of images from eras in history, a culture, or scientific concepts to give visual learners a way to remember new content. "Harvest" images for students to use in their own projects, saving them on a local drive or computer (copying these images is OK!). Have students select an image as an inspiration for a writing assignment or blog post. Upload images to ThingLink, reviewed here, and have students critique or explain it orally in a world language, science, or social studies class. Have student groups use these copyright-safe images (with credit, of course) in their online Bookemon books, reviewed here, about a curriculum concept.

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Toon Book Reader - Paws

Grades
K to 4
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Read cartoon books online using this interactive site. Choose from one of six cartoon books. Choose to read the book in English, Spanish, or French and navigate through the pages ...more
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Read cartoon books online using this interactive site. Choose from one of six cartoon books. Choose to read the book in English, Spanish, or French and navigate through the pages using the left and right arrows. Use the "Start Over" button to begin again or click "Read To Me" to hear audio of the pages. Want to read another book? Click "Library" to view the choices.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (64)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students read aloud together to practice choral reading. Use this site for D.E.A.R. reading or other free time reading (be sure to provide headsets). Allow students to choose from the books. Even non-readers can use this site! Identify information, story lines, and grammar components within the stories as groups. Create story boards that outline the telling of the stories. Use a graphic organizing (online) tool such as bubble.us (reviewed here). Compare and contrast stories or characters using an online Venn diagram creator (reviewed here). Students can re-write endings or the sequels that would follow these books. Use these books as inspiration for student-made cartoon books in world language classes. Have the class or individuals create online books to share using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Eye on Idioms - Read Write Think

Grades
4 to 9
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For idiom review, try this site. ESL/ELL and some speech/language students will find it especially useful, as they often find idiomatic language confusing. The site has multiple approaches...more
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For idiom review, try this site. ESL/ELL and some speech/language students will find it especially useful, as they often find idiomatic language confusing. The site has multiple approaches to idiom retention, including picking a definition, using it in a sentence, and writing a version of the "metaphorical" meaning. A disadvantage to this site is that it does not keep the student answers online. Instead, interested students must print out the page with their work on it.

tag(s): idioms (45)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites or make it available on your class web page for your students to use for review. After students have gone through the exercises here, encourage them to make their own idiom pages and exercises using this format as a model. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create online books including a variety of idioms. Use a tool such as Bookemon reviewed here.

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Skype - Skype Technologies S.A.

Grades
K to 12
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Every teen and college student knows Skype, the free tool for making calls from computer to computer anywhere in the world. By downloading and installing free software and setting up...more
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Every teen and college student knows Skype, the free tool for making calls from computer to computer anywhere in the world. By downloading and installing free software and setting up a free account, you can talk and/or make a video call to a similarly equipped computer elsewhere in the world for free. Skype uses a lot of "bandwidth" so is not suitable for very slow networks or dial up connections. It may also be slow at high-traffic times on a good network. Some patience and pretesting is required before you can be sure it will work for your needs. Connect to classrooms, experts, authors, virtual special speakers, or interview subjects using Skype.

tag(s): virtual field trips (51), webcams (7)

In the Classroom

Download and install the Skype software. If you are not allowed to install software on school computers, ask to have a single laptop available that is Skype-capable so you can borrow it or else explain to your principal that you are planning a series of Skype visits in your classroom so your techies will install it in your classroom. You will need a computer with built-in or separate microphone and speakers and optional webcam. If you plan to use a webcam, you must know how to start it. A single teacher-controlled Skype account will work in most school settings.

If you prefer written directions go to Help >> Step by Step Help to get started. Or ask a student to show you (without seeing your password). You will need to explore the tools in Skype to locate where to enter the SKYPE name of the person you wish to call, start the call, and answer calls. Do NOT set your copy of Skype to "remember me" on a school computer! If students are to participate in the Skype call, you may want to have a "hot seat" at the Skyping computer so they can sit at a mike so their questions will pick up better for the person at the other end.

Be sure to set Skype so it does not open every time you start up the computer. Manually start the program when needed and do not leave an obvious Skype icon on the desktop for "clever" students to find. Protect your password -- do not post it on the computer. A teacher-controlled account is best for Skype classroom use to prevent unauthorized calls by students. Your user name will show on the screen for students to see, so be aware of that when you create your account.

Anything you can do by telephone or video call you can do on a projector with your entire class. Connect the Skyping computer to a projector or whiteboard for the entire class to see if you are using video. (The video will be fuzzy, but good enough to follow a person's face.) Use Skype to talk to authors (check out their web sites or this blog for contact information). Have students write questions in advance. Use your contacts, web page "contact us" emails, and parent contacts to find others willing to Skype into your classroom. Interview scientists or government officials, deployed military personnel, or classes far away in a different culture or language. Younger students can compare weather, family life, community events, and more. Learn other ideas for using Skype in your classroom

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TweenTribune - Alan Jacobson

Grades
K to 12
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TweenTribune has joined with Smithsonian and now offers the news in Lexile levels for k-4, 5-8, 9-12. That is not the only change. The Smithsonian TweenTribune now has several ...more
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TweenTribune has joined with Smithsonian and now offers the news in Lexile levels for k-4, 5-8, 9-12. That is not the only change. The Smithsonian TweenTribune now has several new features, including a Dashboard for assignments and classrooms, assigning a story to all with one click, and self-scoring quizzes for articles. There are now free apps for the iPad and iPhone. TweenTribune continues to include open-ended critical thinking questions and a daily quiz using multiple sources. This site is still jam packed with current news stories that are chosen by site coordinators for all reading levels. The articles are easy to read, relate to, and understand. The site is easy to navigate with a subject indexed toolbar, and it is searchable. All stories are current because the creators scour the internet weekly for age-appropriate material. It greatly reduces the pressure of searching by giving an article research tool that is much more specific than simply using a search engine.

tag(s): news (261), newspapers (95)

In the Classroom

The sky is the limit for potential and possibilities with this website. There are some minor warnings. If you want to allow your students to post to a blog, you will need to create a class and then have them enroll. The great news is that is free. As the teacher, you can moderate or delete posts before they are public. There are lessons available on the site as well as a "Teacher's Lounge" where lesson ideas can be exchanged. In a language arts classroom, students could be assigned to read and blog as a weekly writing assignment. The teacher can assign a specific article or have students choose. Have students read their articles on a podcast using podOmatic, reviewed here. In science, articles from this site could be used to supplement science textbook reading with current articles that better interest students. Articles are short and provide quick practice pieces for non-fiction reading comprehension. Project a story and ask students to write their own sentence for the main idea or to summarize. These quick pieces would fit well on your interactive whiteboard. SmithsonianTweenTribune Espanol allows students to read daily news articles in Spanish and post comments about the stories they read. Teachers moderate all comments before the comments are posted.

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Fact Check Ed - factchecked.org

Grades
4 to 12
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Confused about media messages? This is not only a problem for students but also adults. Use the lesson plans and examples in this site to teach students to be smart ...more
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Confused about media messages? This is not only a problem for students but also adults. Use the lesson plans and examples in this site to teach students to be smart consumers and follow steps to analyze information and uncover truths.

tag(s): critical thinking (119)

In the Classroom

Follow the guide to lesson plans for great activities on "Deductive and Inductive Reasoning," "The Language of Deception," and "Background Beliefs" among many others. Attachments for each activity include student and teacher handouts. Use these lessons for 21st century literacy skills as well as for traditional reading comprehension activities made relevant to today's "reading" media.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Literacy Connection Calendar - Literacy Network

Grades
K to 3
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Wonder no more what parents can do each day during Reading Month (March). This online calendar gives parents 31 separate primary level reading activities to do during that month or...more
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Wonder no more what parents can do each day during Reading Month (March). This online calendar gives parents 31 separate primary level reading activities to do during that month or any time. Each activity explains how it fits into literacy, whether it boosts comprehension, increases fluency, or enhances vocabulary. Scroll to the bottom of the page for a pdf version of the activities.

tag(s): literacy (107)

In the Classroom

If parent involvement with homework is weak, you may want to do the activities in your classroom instead, by showing the activities daily on your whiteboard. Make a list of students who accomplished the reading tasks. Be sure to list this link on your class webpage during your school's designated Reading Month. In fact, make sure the link is on your school's homepage as well. With older students, challenge cooperative learning groups to come up with 2-3 additional classroom or home activities to do during Reading Month, or any time of the year. List the activity suggestions on your class website, blog, or wiki.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Kate's Book Blog: Authors Who Skype with Book Clubs - Kate Messner

Grades
K to 12
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Find authors willing to pay a "virtual visit" to your classroom or school library from this list of author names collected by author Kate Messner. She explains that these authors ...more
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Find authors willing to pay a "virtual visit" to your classroom or school library from this list of author names collected by author Kate Messner. She explains that these authors "offer free 20-minute Skype chats with book clubs that have read one of their books!" Longer visits are usually for a fee. The author list is sorted by age group, and each name links to the author's web site for more information. If you are not familiar with Skype, all you need is a computer with the free, downloadable Skype software, speakers, and a microphone. If you have a webcam, you may be able to make your visit a two-way video chat. See tech tips below.

tag(s): literature (273)

In the Classroom

Plan a series of author visits or one special virtual visit to motivate your club or class to read! Have students prepare questions in advance and maybe even dress as a favorite character if you plan to use video. Make the best of your short visit by refining questions in advance and having everything ready to run with no wasted time. Have students step up to the microphone quietly and smoothly to ask their questions.

Since authors book up easily and may not respond quickly to email, you should plan well in advance to arrange such a visit.

Some technical tips: Share the Skype screen on a projector or whiteboard so more students can see it. Be sure to turn up your speakers and connect a microphone (even a cheap one) to the computer handling the Skype call. Pretest your visit by having a virtual visit from a friend outside of the school, loading Skype and using the same equipment you plan to use for the real visit. You may need to request that the school unblock Skype for your use during a specific time frame, since many schools do not allow such a "pull" on the network without special permission. Once you have a successful test, make a diagram of what you did so you will remember and can share with other teachers. Once you master the set-up, you can do it over and over! Need to learn more about Skype? Read TeachersFirst's review here. Learn other ideas for using Skype in your classroom

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Audio Pal - Oddcast

Grades
1 to 12
10 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Use this free site to create audio files easily for use in or out of the class. Record your own voice using phone or microphone, upload an audio file, or ...more
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Use this free site to create audio files easily for use in or out of the class. Record your own voice using phone or microphone, upload an audio file, or create audio from text to speech. Choose different voices, use the playback options, and update audio at anytime. Use your email to receive a link to your new audio file. Click here to play an example (you will have to click the Play button).

tag(s): speech (92), text to speech (18)

In the Classroom

If using a phone, understanding calling plans and additional charges is needed. You must know how to use embed codes to place audio files within your blog, wiki, or website. No login is required! Simply click the "Get Yours It's Free" button. Choose the method to create the audio and preview and edit the file. Enter your email address to receive a link to your file. Click on the link to grab widgets. Copy the code and place in your blog or website.

The tool does not show which work is attributable to which student. You may want to require that students mark their contributions in order to get credit. Consider using a class email account set up for this purpose. Be sure students understand the appropriate use of this email account.

Classroom use: Use this service to record audio of passages used in class, homework assignments, and other written material. Young students can practice reading aloud at this site (and listen to themselves), showing improvement in fluency as the year goes on. Have students use this site in place of a traditional book report. Have cooperative learning groups create a news broadcast and share it using this site. Use this site with ESL/ELL students just learning the English language. Use this site in world language classes for students to hear and learn the pronunciations. Place the embed code in a site that students can access outside of class for review, identifying directions, and listening to text. Speech and language teachers can use this tool to record student articulation and demonstrate progress through the year.

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The Differentiator - Ian Byrd

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
Differentiating activities for all learners has become easier with this tool. Use this free Bloom's Taxonomy tool, created by an educator, to develop great objectives for differentiated...more
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Differentiating activities for all learners has become easier with this tool. Use this free Bloom's Taxonomy tool, created by an educator, to develop great objectives for differentiated instruction. Move through developing your goal on this site by choosing a level of Bloom's Taxonomy and a thinking skill. Then move on to your content, resources, finished product expected, and what kind of grouping you want. These are all tabs at the top of the page. Watch the sentence at the top of the screen change as you create your objective.

tag(s): blooms taxonomy (9), critical thinking (119), differentiation (48), newbies (19)

In the Classroom

As an example, use a verb from Bloom' taxonomy such as "evaluate." Click on the part of the sentence at the top, in parenthesis, to enter your content such as "patterns of environmental issues." Choose the resource you want students to use, the product you want them to make, and the number of students in a group by clicking on the tabs. Example objective: Students will evaluate the patterns of environmental issues using websites to create a news report in groups of two. Save your objective by copying and pasting it into any document or online tool. The Differentiator will give you many project ideas that you may not have thought of yourself, and serves as a welcome reminder of different activities and expectations you can use in your classroom. Take a look at this site at the beginning of the school year or when creating a new unit (or project). Find new ways to differentiate for your gifted students using this creative and powerful tool. If your gifted students test out of your current math lessons, use this site to find new material to challenge their minds. This site is deceptively quick and simple, but it could be very useful when writing detailed, powerful lesson plans.

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Science News for Students - Society for Science and the Public

Grades
3 to 12
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Kid-friendly science articles to intrigue all ages fill this freshly-redesigned site. Browse menus for illustrated news articles on "Inventions & Innovations," "Space," "Culture," "Body...more
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Kid-friendly science articles to intrigue all ages fill this freshly-redesigned site. Browse menus for illustrated news articles on "Inventions & Innovations," "Space," "Culture," "Body & Brain" or "Technology." A featured articles and "in the news" items make a big splash across the top of the home page to draw interest. Many articles list "POWER WORDS" at the end, highlighting terms and definitions used within that article. The page layouts and whitespace make the online articles uncluttered and legible. The site has reorganized into a structure that roughly parallels school curriculum, so it is even easier to find articles connected to specific science areas.

tag(s): agriculture (58), animals (297), computers (100), dinosaurs (54), engineering (129), environment (323), news (261), nutrition (154), weather (195)

In the Classroom

Use Science News for Kids as a great reading and reporting assignment. Weaker readers will need a reading buddy for some of the more challenging article. Classes in lower grades will want to read the articles together. A quick check on one article using Juicy Studio's Readability test, reviewed here, provided an approximate grade level of 6.5. Check articles before assigning to elementary students. Students can find an article of interest to read, summarize, and report to the class as part of a Science in My World unit or regular science current events activity. Have students create commercials about their topics. Video and share using a site such as SchoolTube, reviewed here. Students can use these news articles to find additional relevant information on the internet. Students may find these topics to be great independent study topics. Teach reading comprehension using these factual articles on your interactive whiteboard, asking students to highlight key words and generate a "main idea" sentence using them. Articles offer ideal practice for informational reading questions on high-stakes reading tests.

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Online Classic Children's Books - Baldwin Online Children's Project

Grades
2 to 12
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This digital collection of over 500 classic children's books (and other literature) offers search by titles in alphabetical order and also by author. The list includes poetry, nature...more
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This digital collection of over 500 classic children's books (and other literature) offers search by titles in alphabetical order and also by author. The list includes poetry, nature stories, historical fiction, legends, fables, individual biographies, ethical faith stories, and more! Much of the collection offers full text. Click on the name of the author to learn more about him or her. Click on the name of the piece of literature to see a summary or read the full text!

tag(s): authors (123)

In the Classroom

If you are looking for favorite classic stories to use in your classroom, try this site. Project the text on your interactive whiteboard as examples for grammar exercises, such as highlighting adjectives or punctuating dialog. Practice "main idea" on your whiteboard using passages from a classic. Have students choose a book using this list. Instead of traditional book reports, have students create multimedia presentations. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Another idea: have students create online posters using a tool such as Padlet (reviewed here).

Include this site on your website, wiki, blog, or newsletter that promotes summer reading. ESL and ELL students will appreciate having a ready source for extra reading.

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Find a Book - lexile.com

Grades
1 to 12
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This site allows teachers and students to go through four simple steps to find a book that has a lexile rating. The steps include entering a lexile range (if unknown: ...more
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This site allows teachers and students to go through four simple steps to find a book that has a lexile rating. The steps include entering a lexile range (if unknown: enter grade level and ease of reading), interests (similar to a keyword search), search of all items that come up, and list-making.

One disadvantage of the site is that you can only enter a keyword when you get to the third step. After a book list based on interests appears, then you can search by keyword to make the search zero in on specifics. When teachers or students select books for a reading list, they can then click to see the complete list of books they have selected. Clicking on a book title leads to another screen, but it does not contain a book summary; instead, it has a list of other keywords for the book along with other book data.

tag(s): book lists (133), independent reading (130)

In the Classroom

This site is great for teachers searching for books at specific lexile levels. Learning support and ESL/ELL teachers can find books to accompany units in content area classes but on the correct lexile level. Students can also use the site by entering their grade levels and what kind of readers they are. Use this site to differentiate the learning experience for all levels of students. Rather than having students complete traditional book reports, why not have them complete a multimedia project? Provide some choices such as a podcast, using PodoMatic (reviewed here), interactive venn diagram comparing characters (reviewed here), or online book using Bookemon (reviewed here).

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Story Rhyme - storyrhyme.com

Grades
K to 6
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This site offers favorite classics as well as site-original stories for classes or families to read together. Accompanying the stories are engaging activities as well. Craft projects,...more
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This site offers favorite classics as well as site-original stories for classes or families to read together. Accompanying the stories are engaging activities as well. Craft projects, suggestions of places to go, and related activities like hangman and vocabulary matching all follow the literary/literacy theme of the site. Movie, book, and show recommendations complete the offerings on the website.The activities would also be great review tools, whether students use them a a learning center in school or outside off the class wiki or webpage.

tag(s): literature (273), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Assign your students some of these stories to read to use as models for their own creative writing. Try the online spelling bee and ask your students to compare that to the live version! Have students read their own creative stories on a podcast. Use a tool such as PodOmatic, reviewed here, or upload illustrations and read the story on ThingLink, reviewed here.

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