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Art Pad Digital Canvas (beta) - art.com

Grades
1 to 8
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Art Pad Digital Canvas is a simple drawing website that can be a valuable tool in the classroom. The site provides a blank canvas for students to create drawings using ...more
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Art Pad Digital Canvas is a simple drawing website that can be a valuable tool in the classroom. The site provides a blank canvas for students to create drawings using the art tools. The options are very simple. Students can paint, add text, choose a frame, and even replay their creations. This tool would be a fantastic final step, and incentive, for story publishing.

There is an option to "view other paintings." This might be a good way to model how to use the site. Be sure to preview before sharing with your class. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): drawing (80)

In the Classroom

You may want to demonstrate this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. With younger students, create the "artwork" as a whole-class project on the whiteboard. What a great way to make an alphabet book with students drawing using their fingers on the board! This site is ideal for an elementary or middle school art class working with basic design concepts. Use your teacher email account for any saving, etc. so you have complete control. Students can present their published works with illustrations created on Art Pad by clicking "save and send." For older students, save the URLs from the "save and send" function and post them on student blogs or a class wiki "gallery." Illustrations could be used for social studies reports and any other type of presentations. You can also use the "add to this painting" function for students to collaborate by having one student start a "picture story" and pass the link to the next student to add the next sentence! Since text can be added, an entire story - verbiage and illustrations - can be created within an Art Pad painting or series of paintings. ESL/ELL students could even make illustrated vocabulary "paintings" as they learn new words. Make sure to complete all editing prior to printing...it could use a lot of colored ink.

Better yet, avoid printing altogether by using the "save and share" link. As a safety precaution use the teacher's email account as the sender and recipient of the email for "save and send." Then simply copy/paste the URL the site provides for direct access to the painting. The "artist" can decide whether the painting is shared in the public gallery. Check school policies before posting there.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Stacks - Scholastic

Grades
4 to 8
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The Stacks offers a plethora of activities for current young adult popular literature. Students can read and write book reviews as well as take opinion polls and quizzes related...more
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The Stacks offers a plethora of activities for current young adult popular literature. Students can read and write book reviews as well as take opinion polls and quizzes related to specific books. They can "meet" various authors, illustrators, publishers, and individuals that are involved in bringing a piece of literature to fruition. Try the interactive pages for each book which feature many activities related to the characters and storyline. This site requires monitoring and clear expectations to avoid distractions and time off-task. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): interviews (17), literature (276)

In the Classroom

This site would provide additional resources for whole-group read-alouds. Students could find pertinent information and then report findings back to the class. It would also be a great way to spark the interest of struggling or disinterested readers. Use this site to help students find a great book for a literature project.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lexile - MetaMetrics, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Whether or not your school uses the Lexile system to measure reading levels, you will want to become familiar with it as one way to measure the reading level ...more
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Whether or not your school uses the Lexile system to measure reading levels, you will want to become familiar with it as one way to measure the reading level of a book. Lexile level information, along with the student's own participation in the choice, can make book selection a positive experience for any reader. Many publishers are now offering Lexiles to measure the reading levels of their materials. Many schools use Lexile measuring to determine the precise reading level of their students. Explore "About Lexiles" menu for more information on 'how' the measuring is done. On the homepage, click on the Tools menu to find a Lexile Analyzer that allows you to cut and paste text into an entry box to determine its Lexile readability level. (You will need to register for the free use of the Analyzer.) Choose English (or another language) book database to find the Lexile level of your classroom books. The Lexile Calculator lets you figure out the rate of comprehension based upon Lexile scores. Lexile leveling is also available for Spanish text. Explore the variety of tools to help analyze and match books for your students.

Registration is free. An email address is required, as is some other information. Some materials on this site require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

Another helpful resource in understanding Lexile levels is this pdf comparison chart from Harcourt (opens in Acrobat Reader).

tag(s): readability (8)

In the Classroom

Make Lexiles one of the tools you use to make reading a positive experience for your students. The more you know about the student and the actual content of the books, the more helpful the Lexiles can be in assisting a match. If your school reports data to parents using Lexile scoring, download the white papers to give to them at conferences to explain Lexile scores in 'parent friendly' language. Include this link on your classroom web page. If your students know their Lexile level, you will want Lexile levels on your classroom library materials so students can match a book to both their reading level and their interests. As an FYI, SOME books listed on Barnes and Noble's online site include Lexile levels in the descriptions (just after age level). Lexile connects to Barnes and Noble directly from this site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TeachersFirst Resources for Dr. Seuss - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources is terrific on Dr. Seuss' birthday in March or to find resources to share via your teacher web page. There is information for ALL grade ...more
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This collection of reviewed resources is terrific on Dr. Seuss' birthday in March or to find resources to share via your teacher web page. There is information for ALL grade levels, and the subjects include everything from reading to history to science to math! Many of the sites are interactive, some include lesson plans, and others are great for research!

tag(s): preK (290), read across america (5)

In the Classroom

Why not find some special projects and activities for March 2? Whatever subject and grade you teach, you are sure to find something useful here.

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Mrs. P.com - Mrs. P Enterprises, LLC

Grades
K to 9
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You almost want to toast marshmallows on the open fire as you cyber-curl under Mrs. P's feet by the fireplace. No need to bring a book; she has quite a ...more
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You almost want to toast marshmallows on the open fire as you cyber-curl under Mrs. P's feet by the fireplace. No need to bring a book; she has quite a selection. This interactive site will thrill your eager readers for hours. Actress Kathy Kinney tells delightful intro stories and expertly reads the books. Best of all, it's a breeze to navigate. Access the different areas on the site from the menu at the top, or click on Mrs. P to find links to her YouTube videos for the books, the teacher area, and activities and games. Play the Title game as an amusing way to listen to one-liners about the stories at this site. Also, check out Mrs. P's annual writing contest from the home page. If your district blocks YouTube, you could always view them at home and bring them to class on a USB drive to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube. This site requires Flash. Get it here TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): independent reading (130)

In the Classroom

Teachers, check out the link for the writing contest. Submit student stories and Mrs. P. may choose to read them on this site. Be sure to get parental consent before submitting any stories.

What a valuable tool for ESL/ELL students and teachers of emergent readers as students follow the words on the screen as Mrs. P. reads a story. Create a corner in your room to read stories the way Mrs. P. does! Use your first initial, let your imagination run wild, change your accent of course, and you can become another Mrs. P.

Be sure to share this treasure on your teacher web page for students (and parents) to access outside of class. You may find students become interested in some of those "old books" in the library!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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100th Day of School Games and Activities - Apples 4 the Teacher

Grades
K to 5
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Although TeachersFirst doesn't usually review a "list of links," our editorial staff found this one to be especially useful. Come to this site to find interactives about the 100th day...more
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Although TeachersFirst doesn't usually review a "list of links," our editorial staff found this one to be especially useful. Come to this site to find interactives about the 100th day of school. Learn about the history of this "holiday," use the printables, practice counting by 2s, 5s, 10s, and beyond with interactive challenges, find literature lists for the 100th day, and much more. Each link includes a detailed description about what is available for students at the site. Some of the links require Adobe Acrobat and/or Flash. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): counting (119), literature (276)

In the Classroom

Are you planning for the 100th day of school? Visit this one-stop site and find books to read to your class, math activities for counting and multiplies, interactives to share on your projector or interactive whiteboard, and more.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Fable Library - Fable Vision

Grades
2 to 6
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This site includes online stories, short downloadable books, a story for older children, and even a spot for young writers to create their own fables. One story, The Adventures of ...more
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This site includes online stories, short downloadable books, a story for older children, and even a spot for young writers to create their own fables. One story, The Adventures of Sticky Burr, is a comic, with continually updated, new episodes. Readers can see fables that other children have contributed by clicking on "Create Your Own." ESL, ELL, and emergent readers may find reading the short illustrated segments offered at this site less of a challenge than reading a textbook or hard copy book. NOTE: the actual fonts used in some of the books may be difficult for some younger children to read. Preview with this thought in mind before assigning a fable to a student to read alone. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): comics and cartoons (72), folktales (65)

In the Classroom

Offer young readers the option of doing "outside" reading online to encourage them to read in a variety of formats, including both the fables and downloadable books. Look at one of the fables with your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students take turns reading the story aloud to the class. Share models of the "student created" stories and then challenge your students to write their own fable (either to share with the class or submit to the site). Be sure to be aware of your school's Acceptable Use Policy on sharing or submitting what the students have written to the website. Obtain parental permission before submitting any work.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Max's Math Adventures - Scholastic

Grades
K to 3
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Practice adding, subtracting, recognizing patterns, and graphing with this nice collection of interactive activities. Aligned to standards and ranked by level of difficulty, these interactive...more
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Practice adding, subtracting, recognizing patterns, and graphing with this nice collection of interactive activities. Aligned to standards and ranked by level of difficulty, these interactive games help reinforce basic skills, encourage independent work, and provide students with instant feedback. There is also an option to print the activities. Non-readers will need some help with the text and written responses.

This site features two activities that are perfect for your 100th day celebrations: Counting Coins (counting to 100) and A Sweet Story (estimation up to 100). This site requires both Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): addition (238), counting (119), estimation (45), subtraction (198)

In the Classroom

This site includes numerous "ready to go" math learning center activities. Share the activities with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students practice their math independently. The two "100s" activities are perfect additions to your 100th day celebration. You may want to list this site in your class newsletter and on your class website so students can practice these basic foundations of math at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TESL/TEFL/TESOL/ESL/EFL/ESOL Links - ITESLJ

Grades
1 to 12
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This compilation of sites is a standard source for ESL and ELL teachers and contains links to whatever type of vocabulary enrichment activity you might be looking for. Although this...more
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This compilation of sites is a standard source for ESL and ELL teachers and contains links to whatever type of vocabulary enrichment activity you might be looking for. Although this site is "plain vanilla" and not high-tech, it has been around for a long time and offers a comprehensive list of sites to use with ESL and ELL students. English/language arts teachers will also find the vocabulary development options helpful for any student, especially those who may need extra learning support.

Be sure to check out "What's New" for recent additions. Go to "Main Page" and try the search box; it's a good place to try to find the links you remember from awhile back but have lost track of.

tag(s): holidays (152), idioms (44), sight words (37), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Provide this link on your class website. Use this site for vocabulary ideas with your ESL and ELL students AND in your world language classes or mainstream language arts classes. The variety at this site offers something for every classroom learning English or another language.

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Learn English with Pictures and Audio - Jacob Richman

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers a pronouncing picture dictionary arranged alphabetically. Students can click on letters of the alphabet to see a selection of pictures and hear the words pronounced....more
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This site offers a pronouncing picture dictionary arranged alphabetically. Students can click on letters of the alphabet to see a selection of pictures and hear the words pronounced. They can also select "Index" which leads to an entire listing (34 total lists) of the words offered. The site continues to add new content, including videos for learning English!

tag(s): sight words (37), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Share this link from your class website for ESL and ELL students to use the picture/pronouncing dictionary both in and out of the classroom. Try the videos on a classroom computer or projector with a small group. Teachers may enjoy using the print option for creating paper copies of the target word lists. ESL/ELL teachers can also assign specific lists to students so they can work individually on pronouncing and understanding the words.

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Reading For All - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This TeachersFirst professional page includes extensive resources for Reading in the Content Areas, Graphic Organizers, Reading Strategies, Vocabulary Development, Elementary Reading,...more
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This TeachersFirst professional page includes extensive resources for Reading in the Content Areas, Graphic Organizers, Reading Strategies, Vocabulary Development, Elementary Reading, independent reading, and special topics reading lists. The page also includes a link for you to purchase books from Amazon and have TeachersFirst receive a portion of the proceeds. TeachersFirst is a free service of a non-profit since 1998. Why not shop through this link to help TeachersFirst continue its service to teachers worldwide?

tag(s): amazon (8), area (67)

In the Classroom

No matter what you teach, these resources will help you target reading and study skills for better comprehension and more.

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5 Sources for Free and Legal Images - The Blog Herald

Grades
K to 12
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These five sources provide Creative Commons images and videos for use in your blog/wiki/web site LEGALLY. Model your ethical use of media by sharing these with your blogging...more
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These five sources provide Creative Commons images and videos for use in your blog/wiki/web site LEGALLY. Model your ethical use of media by sharing these with your blogging students or using them on your whole-class blog or wiki. The sources include abstract photos and current events new stories, as well as general photos. Each has its own search/browse features. The services include: Voxant Newsroom, PicApp, GumGum, Zemanta, and PhotoDropper.

tag(s): blogs (89), images (277)

In the Classroom

Since each site has its own directions, our review team will not explain the how-to's of each here. Some require access to install a plug-in on your blog, such as wordpress. Many school blogging sites do not provide this access. Others permit embedding an image simple by copy/pasting code into your blog or wiki. Two are actually extensions you add to Firefox or Internet Explorer and may require tech department authorization or installation on school computers.

If you do allow students to join a site, be sure to adhere to school policies. As always, we recommend previewing the content available on each site before recommending it to your students. These images sites are NOT education-only, so some image content may not be classroom-appropriate. Have a policy and consequences in place before turning your students loose.

Art teachers or writing teachers can use the abstract images from the GumGum option as writing prompts or to launch discussion on design principles. If your students have individual blogs, allow them to personalize the "look" using these legal images. Be sure to model thinking aloud about why you are using a legal image source. Use news images or videos from Vixant Newsroom as prompts for current events discussions on your blog or wiki, or assign students to select a news story and write an in-depth analysis of it to accompany the image/video. English or social studies teachers teaching persuasive writing can assign students to use their multimedia skills as they present arguments both verbally and visually on a class "issues" wiki. Younger students can help select images to include on a whole-class wiki or blog then add their own writing about them. A teacher can embed a sequence of photos and ask student to tell the story that explains it. Be sure to include this link on your teacher web page for your tech-savvy teens to use as they generate projects with LEGAL images. Of course you will require them to document their sources.
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Faithful John - Kidoons

Grades
K to 3
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This simple site provides an interactive story of "Faithful John." You may read the story in text or interactive (Flash) format. Although there is a link for a game, this ...more
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This simple site provides an interactive story of "Faithful John." You may read the story in text or interactive (Flash) format. Although there is a link for a game, this site was under construction at the time of this review. The interactive (Flash) story provides audio, so even early readers and ESL or ELL students can participate in reading the story (with headsets, of course). The audio can be turned OFF. The story includes some animated pictures. Follow the arrows to go to the next page. There are also Play and Stop buttons.

Be aware that this site does include some advertisements. The site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (163), folktales (65)

In the Classroom

Share this fairy tale on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Turn down the volume (or turn it off), and have students take turns reading the pages to the class. Challenge your students to write new endings for the story. Use the story to teach students about plot, characters, conflict, setting, and other key elements in a story. Create a story map on your interactive whiteboard, pausing to switch between the interactive version and your story map as the story plays aloud!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Real Princess - Kidoons

Grades
K to 3
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This simple site provides an interactive story of the "Real Princess." You may read the interactive story or play a simple game (the game is fun, but not educational). The ...more
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This simple site provides an interactive story of the "Real Princess." You may read the interactive story or play a simple game (the game is fun, but not educational). The story provides audio, so even early readers and ESL or ELL students can participate in reading the story (with headsets, of course). All of the text is written and available in audio, for both your visual and auditory learners. The audio can be turned OFF. The story includes some animated pictures.

Be aware that this site does include some appropriate advertisements. To avoid seeing the advertisements, you may click Full Screen to view the story. The site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (163), folktales (65), interactive stories (34)

In the Classroom

Share this story on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Turn down the volume, and have students take turns reading the pages to the class. Challenge your students to write a new ending for the story. Create a story map on your interactive whiteboard, pausing to switch between the interactive version and your story map as the story plays aloud!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Little Red Riding Hood - Kidoons Network

Grades
K to 3
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This interactive site provides the story of the "Little Red Riding Hood." You may read the story or play a simple game (the game is fun, dress-up, but not necessarily ...more
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This interactive site provides the story of the "Little Red Riding Hood." You may read the story or play a simple game (the game is fun, dress-up, but not necessarily educational). This is a text-only story, so no audio is provided. The story does include some entertaining pictures.

Be aware that this site does include some appropriate advertisements. Some of the activities at this site require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (163), folktales (65), interactive stories (34)

In the Classroom

Share this online fairy tale on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have your students take turns reading the pages to the class. Challenge your students to write a new ending for the story. Create a story map on your interactive whiteboard, pausing to switch between the interactive version and your story map as the story plays aloud!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Shoemaker and the Elves - Kidoons

Grades
K to 3
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This interactive site provides the story of the "Shoemaker and the Elves." You may read the story or play several games (not all games relate to the story and some ...more
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This interactive site provides the story of the "Shoemaker and the Elves." You may read the story or play several games (not all games relate to the story and some are more for fun than education). This is a text-only story, so no audio is provided. The story does include some entertaining pictures.

Be aware that this site does include some appropriate advertisements. Some of the activities at this site require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (163), folktales (65)

In the Classroom

Share this story on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have your students take turns reading the pages to the class. Challenge your students to write new endings for the story. Use the story to teach students about plot, characters, conflict, setting, and other key elements in a story. Create a story map on your interactive whiteboard, pausing to switch between the interactive version and your story map as the story plays aloud!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Brementown Musicians - Kidoons

Grades
K to 3
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This simple site provides an interactive story of the "Brementown Musicians." You may read the story in text or interactive (Flash) format, or play a simple game (the game is ...more
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This simple site provides an interactive story of the "Brementown Musicians." You may read the story in text or interactive (Flash) format, or play a simple game (the game is a memory/logic activity). The interactive (Flash) story provides audio, so even early readers and ESL or ELL students can participate in reading the story (with headsets, of course). The audio can be turned OFF. The story includes some animated pictures. Follow the arrows to go to the next page.

Be aware that this site does include some appropriate advertisements. The site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (163), folktales (65), interactive stories (34)

In the Classroom

Share this fairy tale on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Turn down the volume (or turn it off), and have students take turns reading the pages to the class. Challenge your students to write new endings for the story. Use the story to teach students about plot, characters, conflict, setting, and other key elements in a story. Create a story map on your interactive whiteboard, pausing to switch between the interactive version and your story map as the story plays aloud!
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Early Childhood Handouts - Zero to Three

Grades
K to 1
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A series of pdf handouts and web information assist parents with helping children develop pre-literacy and other developmental skills. Click on Early Language & Literacy to find out...more
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A series of pdf handouts and web information assist parents with helping children develop pre-literacy and other developmental skills. Click on Early Language & Literacy to find out how to use books and stories to help children prepare for school-age tasks and reading. Other topics include Brain Development, Health & Nutrition, Social & Emotional Development, and several others. Though the information and handouts seem to be for much younger children, they will also be helpful for parents new to English and the American school system. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): parents (58), preK (290)

In the Classroom

Print out these handouts and copy when meeting pre-kindergarten parents for the first pre-registration meeting. List this site on your class website. Use with international parents whose cultures might not include using books and America's free public libraries. Encourage international parents to tell stories from their cultures and families to help children succeed in school.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Every Child Ready to Read - Public Library Association

Grades
K to 2
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This group of pdf printable brochures suggests behaviors and activities that can assist parents, preschool teachers, and early elementary teachers in getting children ready to read....more
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This group of pdf printable brochures suggests behaviors and activities that can assist parents, preschool teachers, and early elementary teachers in getting children ready to read. Available in both color and black and white formats, the brochures are also downloadable in Spanish. The brochures encourage people to use books, songs, stories, and word games to reinforce the importance of reading in education. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): literacy (107)

In the Classroom

Make these brochures available to parents of the very young. The added bonus of having some of the brochures available in Spanish makes the development of good readers a task shared by parents and educators alike. PLace some on the table in your conference waiting area or send them home in backpacks!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Plimouth Plantation Just for Kids - Plimouth Plantation

Grades
K to 5
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Hear and see the language of the pilgrims, try recipes, make crafts, read stories, and more with these kids activities from Plimouth Plantation. This site also has printable pages for...more
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Hear and see the language of the pilgrims, try recipes, make crafts, read stories, and more with these kids activities from Plimouth Plantation. This site also has printable pages for younger students. Note: the sound files for the Pilgrim talk require FLASH, and you must turn up your computer's volume! You can get Flash from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): pilgrims (17), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Share this link on your teacher web site for November or try some of the activities in your elementary classroom. The stories would make great read-alouds during Thanksgiving week. Share the stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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