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Lit2Go - Florida Educational Technology Clearinghouse

Grades
K to 12
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Now you can listen to classics and poems through the generosity of this site's creators. Download story files to your mp3 player or listen to the files on your computer. ...more
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Now you can listen to classics and poems through the generosity of this site's creators. Download story files to your mp3 player or listen to the files on your computer. Don't want to just listen to the classics and other stories? Then, view the text on a webpage or in a printable pdf. Easily browse the site by author or title to locate literature. You are also able to search by reading level; the levels are broken down by month (ranging from 0.0 - 12.0). Stories and poems are added frequently to this site, so check back often. This site requires Windows Media Player or Quicktime and Adobe Acrobat. You can get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (163), audio books (31), folktales (65), literature (275), nursery rhymes (18), rhymes (33)

In the Classroom

Print out up to 25 pdf copies of stories and poems if you do not have print versions. Make your own books and leave blank sections to be illustrated for aiding comprehension. If you have iTunes installed on your computer, you can download many of the selections directly into your iTunes library. Use individual laptops for reading the stories online or as a download. Make sure your sight-impaired students know about this helpful site. Special ed teachers and ESL//ELL teachers will love the availability of audio files and text together.

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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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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 (106)

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 (129), reading strategies (46)

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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Adopt-an-Author - Steve Alten

Grades
7 to 12
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Choosing a book, particularly for reluctant readers, is sometimes a challenge. Working online with some of these materials would certainly provide a different look for savvy teenagers...more
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Choosing a book, particularly for reluctant readers, is sometimes a challenge. Working online with some of these materials would certainly provide a different look for savvy teenagers and give them some different ideas on reading. Initiated by author Steve Alten, this website uses this author's books to excite reluctant readers with good stories, incorporating technology with planning. While this site has a complete program that is for sale, you can register free and use most of the materials without buying anything. It offers five books by Alten as well as several other fiction and nonfiction titles by different authors. Each book has materials that may include a PowerPoint of the curriculum, a chapter to peruse, activities, quizzes, etc. The variety of books offered is interesting, including an autobiography of Gerda Weissman Klein, a Holocaust survivor, and a finance nonfiction book to help teens prepare for their futures. This site does have sponsors and minor advertising. The site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): authors (120), holocaust (39), independent reading (129)

In the Classroom

Allowing students to choose among these books may encourage them to read. Having students "teach" their book to the rest of the class after they have finished it might be an activity that would urge other students to pick up those books, too. Have students share their books creatively: write a blog post as a character, make a video to post on TeacherTube or SchoolTube, or make a podcast "interview" of the main character, played by a classmate. Bring reading into the 21st century reality of your students and watch the two worlds "mash" together.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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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 (20)

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 (169), writing (365)

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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YourDictionary - LoveToKnow Corporation

Grades
K to 12
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A definitive authority on words, this free site gives you definitions, thesaurus entries, spellings, pronunciations, and etymology results. Add to that list an audio pronunciation system...more
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A definitive authority on words, this free site gives you definitions, thesaurus entries, spellings, pronunciations, and etymology results. Add to that list an audio pronunciation system that allows you to hear the word as well. YourDictionary also provides resources to help you find foreign language translation sites. It even directs you to medical, computer, or electricians' dictionaries, and many more. Haven't you always wanted to say a tongue-twister in the Asante language? Words have never so much fun. This site does include some advertisements.

tag(s): thesaurus (24)

In the Classroom

Send students to this site to look up those difficult words. ESL and ELL students can use this site to practice the pronunciation of new words. Be sure to mark this site as a favorite or share on your teacher web page for easy access.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Older Readers - Johnnie's Story Page - Johnnie Wilson

Grades
4 to 12
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This website offers a compilation of links to interactive stories designed for older students (and adults). The site was created by Johnnie Wilson, a mentor math coach and former 5th...more
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This website offers a compilation of links to interactive stories designed for older students (and adults). The site was created by Johnnie Wilson, a mentor math coach and former 5th grade teacher. He has found the "best of the best" interactive stories for older students. Some of the stories include Pulp Fiction, Nightmare Tales, American Folklore, and several others. The color coded descriptors let you know if the story includes text, pictures, sounds, animations, and videos. The reading levels vary, so preview the story before sharing it with your students.

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

tag(s): folktales (65), interactive stories (33), mysteries (25)

In the Classroom

There are many ways to use this site in your classroom. Share the stories on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Or have students investigate the sites on their own (using headsets). Save this site as a favorite and list this site on your class web page. earning support and ESL/ELL teachers will love the variety of options for aural stories, as well.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ESL Reading Lessons - 5 Minute English

Grades
4 to 10
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This teaching site has a variety of short readings at various levels that could be useful in an ESL, ELL, special education, or regular ed classroom. Some of the topics ...more
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This teaching site has a variety of short readings at various levels that could be useful in an ESL, ELL, special education, or regular ed classroom. Some of the topics include sentences with grammar errors, students must figure out what is wrong with each sentence. This is excellent practice for any student learning proper grammar. True/ false comprehension questions follow the reading in most cases. Most of the answers are provided at the bottom of the website - so don't scroll too quickly. Before the reading begins, students can study difficult vocabulary words presented in an attractive format. There are full units (with many mini-lessons): grammar, reading, vocabulary, listening, pronunciation, and writing. This site does have unobtrusive advertisements, but watch out for the audio announcements when you open the site. Some of the listening activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): grammar (217), listening (90), pronunciation (43), reading comprehension (115), short stories (25), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use this site if you want your students to do additional reading. Project the topic, story, and questions on an interactive whiteboard or projector for group discussion. Have your students make up their own questions to go with the site. Have your students write up a similar subject relevant to their own culture and present it, along with questions to check for comprehension. This is a fabulous site to list on your class website for students to use for at-home practice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Phil Shapiro Websequiturs - Phil Shapiro

Grades
3 to 10
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Readers will enjoy clicking on sequential phrases as they build sentences and paragraphs while reading parts of a story. Students pick one phrase and, when it's correct, it appears...more
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Readers will enjoy clicking on sequential phrases as they build sentences and paragraphs while reading parts of a story. Students pick one phrase and, when it's correct, it appears in a box below the three choices. As students make choice after choice, the box fills up with the complete story which they can reread by scrolling up and down. Lots of comprehension checking, context clues, grammar review, punctuation, use of transitions, and paragraph organization work are wrapped up in this activity, all while students are anxious to find the next phrase to "make sense." Fiction, non-fiction, and humorous excerpts are available.

tag(s): humor (15)

In the Classroom

High intermediate and advanced ESL and ELL students will enjoy the stories and review their grammar usage at the same time when using this site. Reading teachers looking for a way to practice with context clues will find this site a refreshing change. Use this site as a complement to reading stories using sentence strips. Have your students create their own story building activities following the format of this site.

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SmartWriters.com - Roxyanne Young

Grades
3 to 12
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While this site is geared towards writers, it also delivers powerful information to teachers and librarians. From the homepage, find the left-side links for Teachers and Librarians....more
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While this site is geared towards writers, it also delivers powerful information to teachers and librarians. From the homepage, find the left-side links for Teachers and Librarians. These include essential information on planning a great school visit from an author, resources for teaching reading and writing, and Teacher's Pets (tons of reviews of well-loved books). Also, at the SmartWriters homepage, click on the For Young Writers links to find how-to activities, contests, and publications for your students' work.

tag(s): resources (112)

In the Classroom

If you have budding writers in your class, make sure you check out the Young Writers link. Scores of websites open their doors to student publication. You must obtain parent permission before submitting any student work to such sites, however. Why not create a bulletin board, "Smart Writers," to highlight your own smart writers?

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Munseys - munseys.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Munseys is a library of free e-books which can be downloaded or read in pdf form. You have the choice of technology: Amazon Kindle (beta2!), Sony Reader, Mobipocket, MS-Reader, Palm,...more
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Munseys is a library of free e-books which can be downloaded or read in pdf form. You have the choice of technology: Amazon Kindle (beta2!), Sony Reader, Mobipocket, MS-Reader, Palm, and more types of readers. There are numerous categories of books including Drama, Folklore, Classic, Biography, Religion, Science, Political Science, Periodicals, Renaissance, and countless others. WARNING! Do NOT provide this link to students for independent use. If they click on "popular," they will find material inappropriate for the classroom. Download the books you wish to share in Acrobat form or monitor student use directly. The children's book section currently has 1502 offerings. New books appear in the library daily. If you choose to use Adobe Acrobat, you can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): literature (275)

In the Classroom

Combine your students' love of technology with the joys of reading by letting them select from your download library. These books (in Acrobat form) also provide text selections for teaching about grammar, language structure, and reading comprehension on your interactive whiteboard.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Teacher Book Wizard - Scholastic

Grades
K to 12
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Wizards perform magical feats, and this book wizard proves to be equally supernatural. Claiming to be the first book search engine for teachers, it is built on a database of ...more
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Wizards perform magical feats, and this book wizard proves to be equally supernatural. Claiming to be the first book search engine for teachers, it is built on a database of 50,000 books from all publishers. Snazzy tools allow you to choose your own leveling system, and then match the student to a whole list of books. You will find ready-made, themed lists as well. Teachers can create their own book lists to share with other teachers. Use the BookAlike tool to see what books are similar to a particular well-loved book. Matching the right book to each individual student has never been easier. The Book Wizard Tour requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Teachers, make sure your librarian and even parents know about this wonderful web tool. This could be set up as the homepage for several computers in the library, so students can plug in their levels, their interests, and then enjoy the book recommendations. Librarians, use Scholastic's online library evaluator tool to evaluate your current collection. Teachers, take the Book Wizard Tour for an easy explanation of this helpful service.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ZIPskinny - ZIPskinny

Grades
6 to 12
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A useful little site for research or idle curiosity, this site offers some basic demographic data about the communities that make up each U.S. ZIP code. The ZIP code, first ...more
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A useful little site for research or idle curiosity, this site offers some basic demographic data about the communities that make up each U.S. ZIP code. The ZIP code, first developed in 1963 to assist the U.S. Postal Service with automated mail delivery, has become a powerful demographic symbol and is frequently used by researchers to compare U.S. communities. This site, which ties its data to information gathered in the 2000 census, offers no commentary--just the facts ma'am--and includes statistics on education, income, population, race, gender, and marital status. There is a utility for comparing any ZIP code with up to 20 other ZIP codes. Students may be interested in the specific data provided for each public school within a given ZIP code. Our reviewers did notice that some ZIP codes are not included at this time. Serious researchers are cautioned, the data comes from the 2000 census, and may be outdated. This historical census data may provide a good comparison with other, more recent years or for students to make predictions for an upcoming census based on past trends. There is a lot of advertising on the site, although the majority of it is in the form of text links rather than annoying pictures or dancing silhouettes.

tag(s): census (19), demographics (19)

In the Classroom

Teachers or students seeking some basic demographic data about their own town or city, or wishing to compare it with another location, will find this site useful. Civics, government, or economics lessons could be enriched with local data which might be compared to the more general information offered by textbooks in answer to the question "How do we compare to this?" Math teachers and reading teachers who teach graphical data analysis might get some mileage out of using the graphs and tables from their own towns or communities for computations rather than using generic information from a textbook. Project the graphs on a whiteboard and have students manipulate to explain the meaning of changes in the visuals. Think of the higher level thinking questions you could generate during a political year! Of course, the terminally curious can probably waste a good hour or two just noodling with the data.

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TeenInk Online Magazine - The 21st Century and the Young Authors Foundation

Grades
5 to 12
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This print magazine for teens also has a free,online version. While not all the content from the print magazine is found online, you will find a wealth of cool teen ...more
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This print magazine for teens also has a free,online version. While not all the content from the print magazine is found online, you will find a wealth of cool teen stuff there. Written solely by teens, the site includes edgy stories, poetry, opinion pieces, photography, extensive author and celebrity interviews, and call-outs for stories and contests. You need not "join" or "subscribe (at a cost) to read and use the site.

tag(s): photography (160), poetry (228), writing (365)

In the Classroom

English teachers, create your own TeenInk publication in your classroom. Work with your school's technology teacher to have students set up an online publication like the one at this site--perhaps on a wiki. Don't dare call it a literary magazine these days. Use TeenInk as a prototype of an edgy, creative outlet for your students. Put Shakespeare on the shelf for a few weeks and consider using the TeenInk site's content to show story elements and literary devices. If school policies prohibit publishing content online, make the wiki private and share the password with invited guests. Learn more about wikis at the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.

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Comic Creator - ReadWriteThink.org

Grades
2 to 12
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Your students will create professional-looking comics in minutes using this Comic Creator site. No log-in is required. Just type in the prompted information, such as the name of comic...more
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Your students will create professional-looking comics in minutes using this Comic Creator site. No log-in is required. Just type in the prompted information, such as the name of comic character, author, caption, and of course, the dialog that goes into the speech bubble. The 'creator' chooses the number of panels, type of characters, style of speech bubble, and various props. Two actions are needed: clicking and dragging the items to go into the comic strip, and typing dialog into the bubbles. Then, presto....a genuine comic appears, ready for printing. The tool DOES support accent marks pasted from Word. (Unfortunately, there is no way to save your comic masterpieces.) This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), sequencing (31), summarizing (14)

In the Classroom

Instead of writing boring summaries, why not summarize through a comic strip. It's much like storyboarding, but the drawing has been left to the Comic Creator pros. Make a class book of the comics created throughout the year. That book will become the most read classroom book of all in an elementary classroom. Use comics to show sequencing of events. When studying about characterization, create dialog to show (not tell) about a character. Another idea - why not use the comic strips for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or draw the pictures) than use the actual words. World language and ESL/ELL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternate to traditional written assessments.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Online Newspapers - Web Wombat Pty Ltd.

Grades
5 to 12
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Never again wonder where to find a newspaper. This site accesses thousands of newspapers with just a simple sign-in from the drop down information search page. There are newspapers...more
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Never again wonder where to find a newspaper. This site accesses thousands of newspapers with just a simple sign-in from the drop down information search page. There are newspapers included from South East Asia, Central America, Middle East, and nearly every country throughout the world. There are some minor advertisements at this website.

tag(s): africa (180), asia (73), central america (13), middle east (30), news (260), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Students can update reports and research by accessing newspapers from around the world. Any of your favorite newspaper learning activities can transfer to a newspaper in another part of the USA or world. Foreign language teachers and students will enjoy using the foreign presses for authentic learning. Social Studies teachers can assign students to compare points of view on world issues or perceptions of the U.S. via various newspapers.

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Brainbox Challenge - BBC

Grades
1 to 10
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This mind-boggling website offers a treat for your brain. The website features interactive visual, spatial, coding, memory, dual task (multi-task), and language "mind games." There...more
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This mind-boggling website offers a treat for your brain. The website features interactive visual, spatial, coding, memory, dual task (multi-task), and language "mind games." There is also a link to learn about the science behind your brain and what is happening when you solve these challenges. The activities offer several difficulty levels, which enables the website to be used by a wide range of grade levels. Try the easy level of the "Vowel of Silence" game with your early readers. There is also a link to view the show (on BBC) BrainBox Challenge . All activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): brain (73), psychology (64)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce this website. Read the "science" section together and demonstrate some of the activities. Then allow your students to try their hand (and brain) at the activities on individual laptops or in the computer lab. These activities offer excellent enrichment for your gifted students. Provide this link in your class newsletter (if applicable) and on your class website for students to use at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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D.E.A.R. - Harper Collins Publisher

Grades
K to 12
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Promote reading by encouraging school-wide participation in the Drop Everything And Read campaign. If not school-wide, then definitely set aside 30 minutes on April 12 (or a nearby...more
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Promote reading by encouraging school-wide participation in the Drop Everything And Read campaign. If not school-wide, then definitely set aside 30 minutes on April 12 (or a nearby date if April 12 falls on a weekend) to show that reading comes first. At this site, families are encouraged to read for 30 minutes, but teachers will glean essential information to make the event effective. This date has been chosen in honor of Beverly Cleary's birthday. Find information about some of her famous book characters, books suggestions, D.E.A.R. activity suggestions, reproducible pages, and more at this site.

tag(s): independent reading (129)

In the Classroom

Make sure you post this site's link to your teacher web page to encourage family reading on April 12. Teachers, click on the "request materials" link to find free teacher resources supplied by Harper Collins to promote D.E.A.R. If you have a D.E.A.R. celebration, you may wish to submit photos at this site as well.

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