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Pirate Spelling - BBC

Grades
1 to 5
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Come aboard the ship with Max (and his pet parrot) to practice spelling. Although this site was created by the BBC, at the time of this review, all spelling words ...more
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Come aboard the ship with Max (and his pet parrot) to practice spelling. Although this site was created by the BBC, at the time of this review, all spelling words were included and used in both British English and American English. There are three levels of difficulty. The medium level challenges students to fill in the blank to correctly spell a word. (They are provided three choices). The more difficult levels challenge students to choose the correct word that Max pronounces (again, three choices are provided). Students may click "listen again" to hear the word again.

The website also features a "full screen" option, printable worksheets, engaging sound effects (which can be turned off), and animations. The site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Use the three difficulty levels to differentiate for your students. This site is ideal to use with younger ESL and ELL students. Create a learning center for students to use this website, or provide individual laptops or computers. Be sure to provide headsets. Why not print off the worksheet for additional practice or enrichment.

You may want to list this website in your class newsletter and on your class website so students can practice spelling at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Alphabetical Adventure - BBC

Grades
1 to 2
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Help Molly put five, six, or seven words in alphabetical order at this engaging website created by the BBC. Audio is available, so even beginning readers can participate in this ...more
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Help Molly put five, six, or seven words in alphabetical order at this engaging website created by the BBC. Audio is available, so even beginning readers can participate in this activity. There are three difficulty levels.

Since this site is about alphabetical order, it is useful with both British English and American English. The website also features a "full screen" option, printable worksheets, engaging sound effects (which can be turned OFF), and animations. The site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): alphabet (92), alphabetical order (19)

In the Classroom

Use the three difficulty levels to differentiate for your students. Share this website with your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector and show the students HOW to use the program. Then, create a learning center for students to use this website, or provide individual laptops or computers. Be sure to provide headsets. Why not print off the worksheet for additional practice or enrichment.

You may want to list this website in your class newsletter and on your class website so students can practice alphabetical order at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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River Rhyming - BBC

Grades
1 to 3
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Help Max cross the river by finding the rhyming words. A word is displayed, and three options are provided. Click on the correct answer to "jump" Max to the next ...more
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Help Max cross the river by finding the rhyming words. A word is displayed, and three options are provided. Click on the correct answer to "jump" Max to the next stone on the river. Although this site does use British English, this activity is useful to practice American English. At the time of this review, all words were common in both forms of English.

There are three levels of difficulty. The website also features a "full screen" option, printable worksheets, engaging sound effects, and animations. There is also the option to turn music OFF. The site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): sound (101), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Use the three difficulty levels to differentiate for your students. Share this website with your class in Full Screen on an interactive whiteboard or projector to show the students HOW to use the program. Then, create a learning center for students to use this website, or provide individual laptops or computers. Be sure to provide headsets. Why not split your class into two teams and make this activity a class competition.

You may want to list this website in your class newsletter and on your class website so students can practice rhyming at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Animal Island Data - BBC

Grades
1 to 4
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Help Molly count and organize data at the zoo. There are three difficulty levels. The easier level challenges students to count the specific number of monkeys, birds, rabbits, and other...more
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Help Molly count and organize data at the zoo. There are three difficulty levels. The easier level challenges students to count the specific number of monkeys, birds, rabbits, and other animals. The really hard level has students read and analyze data from a graph. The website also features a "full screen" option, printable worksheets, engaging sound effects (which can be turned off), and animations. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): data (148)

In the Classroom

Use the three difficulty levels to differentiate practice for your students. Share this website with your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector and show the students HOW to use the program. Then, create a learning center for students to use this website, or provide individual laptops or computers. Why not list this website in your class newsletter and on your class website so students can practice their math skills at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram - ReadWriteThink

Grades
2 to 6
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This online tool allows students to generate clear and easy to use "2 circle" Venn Diagrams. The opening page asks you to name the project and then label the two ...more
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This online tool allows students to generate clear and easy to use "2 circle" Venn Diagrams. The opening page asks you to name the project and then label the two circles in the Venn Diagram. When you click NEXT a professional looking Venn Diagram will be created based on your project and labels. The interactive Venn Diagram allows you to generate concepts (type words) and place them in circle 1 or circle 2 by clicking and dragging the word. You are able to place the word in either circle, or the overlapping area. When inputting a concept word a text box is provided to type in a detailed description. There is also a demonstration video that shows how to type concept words and descriptions and how to drag and place the concepts onto the Venn Diagram. The program allows you to edit and print (but not SAVE!) the finished Venn Diagrams. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Use this handy tool to guide your students through the process of organizing information in Venn diagram form. View the demonstration video together on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Complete a Venn Diagram as a class activity. Then have students work on individual computers to create their own Venn Diagrams to correlate with a language arts, social studies, or interdisciplinary lesson. Have students print out their Venn Diagrams and share them with the class. Once they have mastered this skill and underlying concepts, allow them to create even more colorful Venn diagrams using colorful Autoshapes circles, clip art, and text boxes on PowerPoint slides or using Inspiration software. Show them how to use color as a way to communicate meaning by color-coding, as well.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Pixton - Goodinson Design Inc.

Grades
4 to 12
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Create comics quickly and easily with this free site! Choose starting scenes, add new frames, change characters and add text. At this site, students can create, share, and "remix" comics....more
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Create comics quickly and easily with this free site! Choose starting scenes, add new frames, change characters and add text. At this site, students can create, share, and "remix" comics. The "remix" link allows students to add their own twist to ready-made comics. Students can read comics created by others and also make comments on them. Other highlights of the site include a featured author and blog. The free version of Pixton is open to the public. There is also a fee-based version for schools (with teacher and student registration levels and safety tools) with a 30-day free trial period available. Be aware: the Pixton for Schools (if continued after 30-days) will cost $1 per student. See an example created by the TeachersFirst Edge team.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), graphic novels (7), novels (24)

In the Classroom

Simply login and click create. Choose a scene you wish to start with. Change your characters from a variety of option. When the comic loads, your chosen character may not show immediately but will appear as you edit each frame. Change sizes of caption bubbles, fonts sizes and types with easy to use sliders. New characters can be added in each frame as well as a variety of additional props such as sports equipment and furniture. Change the background set to a variety of indoor, outdoor city, and outdoor country landscapes. Change background colors easily too. Comics can be saved, scenes can be deleted, and changes made can be reverted to the previous idea easily with on screen controls. Below the comic, buttons for "Save for later" and "Publish Now" quickly save or publish works. If the scene is not ready for publishing, Pixton requests further edits to complete the process.

Consider creating a class account that students can use. Track comics made by students by placing initials in a small caption bubble to identify created comics to a specific student. There are some safeguards in place to be sure students use appropriate language and actions. It would be wise to preview whatever you wish to share with your students, however, since the general public can create comics with their own ideas. Students should submit their work without identifiable names and location, according to your school policy. You will also want written parent permission before allowing students to create comics that can be seen online.

Capture and use your students creativity in storytelling using this exciting tool! Using small amounts of texts to frame a story or to deliver information creatively allows students the opportunity to work deeply with information and use a creative outlet for a variety of projects. Use for students to provide information learned with personal thoughts on subjects ranging from historical events, environmental issues, discussion about plants, animals, and ecosystems, as well as other topics in Art, Math, English, Health, and others. Use in Foreign language classes for short stories created in the language and translated then by other students in the classroom. Use comics to write summaries of current events, responses to reading assignments, expressions of teen problems, and creative works of humor. With younger students, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to create a class comic on a current topic of study, such as the life cycle of the frog or ways to conserve energy. Use this site to integrate an art and writing lesson. Why not have students create comics to demonstrate a concept in science or social studies, rather than a traditional paper/pencil quiz? World language teachers and ESL/ELL teachers will love the chance for students to demonstrate written language skills in the "context" of their comic situations.

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Word Girl - PBS Kids GO!

Grades
K to 4
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Looking for a new way to spice up language arts class? Look no further than Word Girl. Although the main "character" is female, both boys and girls will enjoy the ...more
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Looking for a new way to spice up language arts class? Look no further than Word Girl. Although the main "character" is female, both boys and girls will enjoy the challenges at this site. The site features about twenty ready to go lesson plans, interactive language arts challenges, online stories, and much more! Some of the lesson plan topics include, Awesome Alliterations, Sentence Fluency, Writing a Diary, Acting out Verbs with Charades, and many others. Visit the link, Huggies House of Fun to practice vocabulary words, creating comic strips, cartoon games (with a vocabulary twist), and other activities to lighten up language arts! Also at this link, visit the "Captain Huggy Face's Freeze Frame Game," an interactive comedy story that will have students thinking and laughing out loud. Visit the Teachers and Parents link for lesson plans, activity ideas, an online dictionary, and printable pages. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): antonyms (26), sentences (52), spelling (168), synonyms (38), verbs (41), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Why not introduce a word activity on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Complete the "Captain Huggy Face's Freeze Frame Game" as a class. Then create a learning center using this website and allow students to view the interactive stories and play the games during your language arts block. And don't forget about the ready-to-go lesson plans. Use these plans to help simplify the complexities of the English language (synonyms, antonyms, onomatopoeia, etc.). Be sure to list this site on your class website and in your class newsletter so students can have some Word Girl fun at home. at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Seussville - Random House

Grades
K to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Find everything Seuss in one place: interactive games, classroom activities, printables, and much more. Audio cues help non-readers to navigate the site (and can be turned off at top...more
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Find everything Seuss in one place: interactive games, classroom activities, printables, and much more. Audio cues help non-readers to navigate the site (and can be turned off at top right). Find videos, author information, and learning games featuring the famous Seuss characters. The Educator link takes you to lesson plans and teaching ideas for use throughout the year, not just for Dr. Seuss' birthday on March 2! This is where you will find Read Across America printables and more. Since the publisher obviously wants to sell books, there is complete information for purchasing books, as well, but it is not offensive.

tag(s): dr seuss (13), read across america (5)

In the Classroom

Primary grade teachers will want to share this site on their teacher web page for students to visit over and over both in school and out. Share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector to show students where to find all the best learning activities, then have students explore on individual computers or at a center. This is a great "indoor recess" option! Teachers of students in older grades-- even middle school -- can use this site during Read Across America celebrations. Have student groups create a Seuss-style book-in-verse on a current curriculum topic, using this site for inspiration. How about a book about electricity or alternative energy? Have them create their new interactive "book" using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ed Pubs - US Department of Education

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers free publications about teaching, literacy, reading instruction, child development, math, and school safety. The offerings include materials for all levels (brochures,...more
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This site offers free publications about teaching, literacy, reading instruction, child development, math, and school safety. The offerings include materials for all levels (brochures, posters, videotapes, newsletters, and more). The intended audiences include students, teachers, parents, and administrators. Many publications and also site information come in Spanish and English.

tag(s): literacy (103)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your class website so parents can learn about this free resource. Include links to specific publications tha fit your class' needs. Or choose helpful information with your particular parents/students and share the pdf files as print-outs at conferences or via email to help parents.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Adolescent Literacy - adlit.org

Grades
4 to 12
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The focus of this site is to encourage better literacy and reading enjoyment among pre-teens and adolescents. A sister site to Reading Rockets and Colorin'Colorado, Adlit...more
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The focus of this site is to encourage better literacy and reading enjoyment among pre-teens and adolescents. A sister site to Reading Rockets and Colorin'Colorado, Adlit offers summer reading strategies, book lists, book clubs, classroom technique hints which encourage development of reading attack skills, and a special section on authors and their best books. For a Spanish language version of the main topics available as an A to Z list, click on the left side of the screen ( En Espanol ). This site has everything you already know about teaching reading in easy-to-use formats. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. Get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): authors (120), independent reading (128), reading strategies (45)

In the Classroom

If you need ideas to get students reading for fun and to help develop their confidence, try this site. Highlight this on your class website so parents can try the activities with their older students. When doing author biographies, share this site with your class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to check out the "Classroom Strategies" link for even more literacy ideas.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Concentration - Clifford The Big Red Dog - Scholastic

Grades
K to 2
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Treat your students to this educational adventure with Clifford to practices letter sounds with a concentration game. Students are presented with eight cards. You click to flip the...more
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Treat your students to this educational adventure with Clifford to practices letter sounds with a concentration game. Students are presented with eight cards. You click to flip the cards to find (and hear) words that have the same middle sounds. Audio is provided so students (even non-readers) can easily follow along. A word list is created for students to see their progress. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): alphabet (92), phonics (75), sound (101), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students take turns navigating the website. Then create a learning center using this website (or better yet, have students work on individual computers). Be sure to provide headsets! Use this site with your youngest ESL, ELL, and special education students to help them better understand the English language. List this link in your class newsletter or on your web page for students to use for additional practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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There is nothing twicky about a wiki. Learn about this online collaboration tool: what a wiki is, how you might use it in your classroom, how to explain it to ...more
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There is nothing twicky about a wiki. Learn about this online collaboration tool: what a wiki is, how you might use it in your classroom, how to explain it to parents and administration, and how to get started. There are over 50 examples of activities you can do with a wiki and links to a free tool to get started. A fresh revision of the Walk-Through in 2008 includes comparison reviews of the top three wiki tools for education. We even give you the downloadable handout to send home.

tag(s): wikis (19)

In the Classroom

This is listed as a TeachersFirst "edge" entry, but our step-by-step walk-through takes the edge off and makes your wiki a walk in the park. Check it out now, while there is still FREE classroom wiki space available from the three wiki tools we review in detail.
 

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KidsWWrite - Kalamalka Institute for Working Writers

Grades
1 to 10
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This e-magazine features work by children from ages 5 - 16 from all around the world. The student writings are divided into three age levels (5-8, 9-12, and 13-16). The ...more
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This e-magazine features work by children from ages 5 - 16 from all around the world. The student writings are divided into three age levels (5-8, 9-12, and 13-16). The writing includes both poetry and stories. Students can also submit book reviews of favorite works and also art. The book reviews are anecdotal and personal and also include a drawing or copy of the book cover. If students wish to search for stories on a certain topic, a search box and archives are available.

tag(s): creative writing (166), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Share samples of students' writing on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to preview for content inappropriate for your classroom. Have your students create cover art and write stories, book reviews, or poetry to submit to this site. Of course you will want written parent permission before submitting student work to this online magazine. Students should submit their work without identifiable names and location, according to your school policy.If your school prohibits using blogs to post student writing, this is a middle ground alternative to get their works in front of a wider audience.

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Clifford's Big Dig - Scholastic

Grades
K to 2
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Bring everyone's favorite "BIG RED DOG" into your classroom with this interactive storybook. Students are presented with an audio version of the story. Some of the story pages are missing...more
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Bring everyone's favorite "BIG RED DOG" into your classroom with this interactive storybook. Students are presented with an audio version of the story. Some of the story pages are missing words. Students have to use their phonics skills to choose the correct answer from multiple choice answers. This activity requires no preparation, is very simple to use, and takes about 15-20 minutes. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): phonics (75)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use this website on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Then have students work on at their own pace on individual computers or with a partner to read/listen to the story. Be sure to include headsets! An audio version of the story is provided, so even non-readers can easily navigate this website.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Judy Moody Official Website - Candlewick Press

Grades
3 to 5
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Being moody is totally RARE, if you're Judy Moody! If you teach 3rd -5th grade, you know how quickly girls devour these books. Find activity suggestions and more Judy Moody ...more
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Being moody is totally RARE, if you're Judy Moody! If you teach 3rd -5th grade, you know how quickly girls devour these books. Find activity suggestions and more Judy Moody information in the Teacher's Guide section. The Clubhouse link includes several printable "not-boring" activities.

tag(s): independent reading (128), origami (17), printables (38)

In the Classroom

Plan a Judy Moody Day by using the 'rare' ideas in the Teacher's Guide section. Don't leave the boys out--plan a joint Stink Day as well. (Stink is Judy Moody's brother, and more information about Stink can be found at www.stinkmoody.com.) For writing fun, write a 'moody' scene to expand a Judy Moody or Stink book. Create a Judy Moody comic strip (or one in your own style, perhaps using one of the comic tools found in TeachersFirst Edge ). Have your school's art teacher teach your class how to draw the perfectly temperamental Judy Moody or develop their own characters. (There is also a link at the Clubhouse showing how to draw Judy Moody.)
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Visiting Authors - visitingauthors.com

Grades
K to 6
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Having an author visit your school is easy using this site. Author information, pictures and book lists, and hints on how to prepare for your author visit are all ...more
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Having an author visit your school is easy using this site. Author information, pictures and book lists, and hints on how to prepare for your author visit are all found here. Some of the authors include Marie Bradby, Timothy Bush, Nikki Grimes, Angela Johnson, Steve Lyon, Alexander Stadler, and many others. Learn where the author resides, fees, and more.

tag(s): printables (38)

In the Classroom

Have your students pretend to be an author who visits your school. Make a video of the "visits" from several "authors." Make a wish list of their expectations from the students. Have students create fictional stories of why the author wrote a particular book. Share them with the author for huge laughs. If you do invite one of these featured authors, make sure you read their books well in advance of the visit. Many of these authors have their own websites, so visit those sites as well. As a school event, you may be able to arrange a 'Lunch with the Author' fundraiser.

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Little House Books - Harper Collins

Grades
1 to 5
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Are you a Laura or a Nellie? You and your students can take the quiz at the Little House site to find out whom they are most like. Plan a ...more
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Are you a Laura or a Nellie? You and your students can take the quiz at the Little House site to find out whom they are most like. Plan a big "Little House on the Prairie" event using the many suggestions and materials available. Printables, a classroom activities guide, lesson plans, games, author information, and more await you here. This site requires Flash and Acrobat Reader. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Teachers, mark this site as a favorite to use when you plan your Little House or pioneer unit. If you need a quick quiz for any of the Little House books, you will find one already prepared for you. Directions to make your own autograph album, scrapbook, "Little House" recipes, and more are located in the Teachers section. The classroom activity guide features 17 pages of ideas!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Matt Christopher, Official Author Website - Dale Christopher

Grades
2 to 8
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Promote guys reading books by visiting this popular author's website. Boys (and girls) love reading this #1 sports fiction author. At this site, you will find Matt Christopher checklists,...more
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Promote guys reading books by visiting this popular author's website. Boys (and girls) love reading this #1 sports fiction author. At this site, you will find Matt Christopher checklists, a word scramble, posters, a bookmark, a sports quiz, and author information. Matt is the author of over 100 sports books, and kids (especially boys) can't read enough of them. This site works as a bonus read for M.C. fans. Check out non-fiction biographies of our nation's popular sports figures. Biographies are found at the bottom of the individual sports pages. There is also a link especially for teachers and librarians with downloadable PDF files, a poster, brochure, and other literature materials. Some of the links require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): sports (97)

In the Classroom

Encourage fictional sports books by having a Matt Christopher Day. Have students read a M.C. book about their favorite sport. On M.C. Day, students may bring sports memorabilia and enjoy book talks. Perhaps bring in a well-known local sports figure who grew up reading Matt Christopher books. After all, M.C. books have been popular since the mid-fifties. Teachers, find a complete list of individual sports books by using the drop down menu Choose a Sport .

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Nina Loves To Name Things - Scholastic

Grades
K to 2
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This website challenges students to use their reading, listening, and organization skills.The site even works for non-readers, since clicking the items says the word aloud. Nina (a...more
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This website challenges students to use their reading, listening, and organization skills.The site even works for non-readers, since clicking the items says the word aloud. Nina (a fun and friendly green animal), offers students various places to go and explore: farm, aquarium, supermarket, airport, museum, garden, zoo, firehouse, and many other places. When students arrive at their destination, they are presented with a box and various items. The challenge is to drag and drop the items that belong in the chosen location into the box. For example, in the restaurant students could click and drag a napkin, french fries, salt, and other items. There are also items that don't belong in the chosen location. For non-readers, the items can be clicked on to hear the word read aloud. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): listening (91), sorting (10)

In the Classroom

Create a learning center about sorting and naming using this website. Allow students to practice at this individually or to make their own "sorting" groups from clip art on PowerPoint slides. This is also a great site for younger ESL, ELL or speech/language students.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Beginning Readers - Johnnie's Story Page - Johnnie Wilson

Grades
K to 2
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This image-rich website provides over sixty interactive stories for young children to enjoy. Johnnie Wilson, mentor math coach and former 5th grade teacher, has collected several math...more
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This image-rich website provides over sixty interactive stories for young children to enjoy. Johnnie Wilson, mentor math coach and former 5th grade teacher, has collected several math and language arts links to create several compilations of the "best of the best." The color coded descriptors let you know if the story includes text, pictures, sounds, animations, and videos. Most of these beginning reader stories involve the ABCs and rhyming words. Most of the interactive stories also include interactive phonics and grammar activities. This is a MUST-SEE for primary language arts classes, special education classes, ESL and ELL classes, and others.

Be warned, there are minor unobtrusive advertisements at this website. Nearly all sites require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): alphabet (92), grammar (216), interactive stories (32), phonics (75), preK (281)

In the Classroom

There are so many ways to integrate this website into your lessons. Save this website in your favorites, you will want to visit often! Why not use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share the stories and activities with your class. During your language arts block, use this website as a learning center for students to explore independently. (Be sure to provide headsets). Don't forget to list this link in your class newsletter or on your class website, so students can practice their reading skills at home or maintain skills during vacations.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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