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NASA Education - NASA

Grades
K to 12
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Interactive games, activities, lessons, videos, facts, projects...the NASA list of resources is vast. TeachersFirst lists many individual activities and lessons, but this well-designed...more
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Interactive games, activities, lessons, videos, facts, projects...the NASA list of resources is vast. TeachersFirst lists many individual activities and lessons, but this well-designed teacher portal will give you access to even more. Explore this site for a wealth of information about NASA, space, math, and science in general. From history to the present, your students will grow in NASA knowledge as they interact with the site. All ages, from preschool to college, can find appropriate information at this site.

tag(s): moon (72), nasa (39), space (205)

In the Classroom

The whiteboard would be a great asset in playing the games. Most games are for individual fun, so using laptops or a learning center would work well, too. For the older students, this site's vast information would be a great starting point for projects or reports. Make science real for your students. Reading teachers seeking non-fiction articles for comprehension practice will find excellent options from the news listings on the home page.

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Mystery Net's Kids Mystery - MysteryNet: The Online Mystery Network

Grades
4 to 9
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If solving a good mystery is what your students crave, then this website is worthy of bookmarking. There are 28 'quick solve' mystery stories provided. Students read the story, and...more
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If solving a good mystery is what your students crave, then this website is worthy of bookmarking. There are 28 'quick solve' mystery stories provided. Students read the story, and then choose the perpetrator. Clues are provided as necessary. This website also features 29 chiller mystery stories to solve. At the bottom of the screen, you will find links to lesson plans (about mysteries), mystery bibliographies, a "tricks" page, and much more.

tag(s): forensics (27)

In the Classroom

Reading teachers in the elementary and middle grades will appreciate the complicated story line at a lower reading level. Students will be motivated to read more of the stories.

Why not display the mystery on an interactive whiteboard (or projection screen) as an anticipatory set for a science class on forensics, reading lesson about "finding clues," or a mystery unit. Use the tools to highlight clue words and other ways that the mystery "leads" you to the solution. Challenge your class to create their own 'quick solve' mysteries individually or with a partner on a class wiki. If your teaching assignment allows you to team teach, coordinate your mysteries in reading class with a look at scientific method in science class, using these mysteries.

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Inspiration Lane - Susan Alyn

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4 to 12
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This dynamic site offers a blog-style newspaper for ESL/ELL students and could also be used in other academic areas. The daily entries follow the same basic format: "Quote of the ...more
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This dynamic site offers a blog-style newspaper for ESL/ELL students and could also be used in other academic areas. The daily entries follow the same basic format: "Quote of the Day," "This Day in History," "Article of the Day," "Comic Creators," "Cooking State," "Match Up," "Museum Town," and "Caption Central." All change daily! "Today's English Lesson" changes on weekdays. Like a newspaper, teachers and students can read a single feature or the entire sheet. Interspersed with the information are grammar reminders and practical applications. For foreign language students and beginning language learners, there is an option to translate the page into Korean, French, German, Italian, Portuguese,Spanish, Japanese, simplified Chinese and even Arabic!

tag(s): cooking (34), news (261), pronunciation (44), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Project this on your whiteboard at the start of your lesson as students enter or to wrap up the final five minutes with interesting clips from history, quotes, ESL in music etc. Encourage your students to try a new vocabulary word each day on their own. If your students have Internet access outside of class (even in study hall), require a weekly current events response for writing practice--perhaps on a class blog?
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Reading Online Journal - International Reading Association

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K to 12
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Access hundreds of reading education articles through this International Reading Association's online journal site. To search articles, simply type in the key words and hit 'go.' ...more
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Access hundreds of reading education articles through this International Reading Association's online journal site. To search articles, simply type in the key words and hit 'go.' Another option is to browse the author, title or subject index. Keeping afresh in the field of reading means knowing the research and new ideas. Grab a cuppa joe, and plan your next personal development session at this site.

In the Classroom

Save this site to your professional favorites as a reference.

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Aaron Shephard's RT (Reader's Theater) Page - Aaron Shephard

Grades
3 to 12
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This page provides lots of info and resources for using reader's theater in conjunction with plays, manuscripts, and folktales. Besides displaying Shephard's books for sale, click on...more
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This page provides lots of info and resources for using reader's theater in conjunction with plays, manuscripts, and folktales. Besides displaying Shephard's books for sale, click on Aaron's Extras to find scripts for plays and tales you can use in the classroom. Other offerings include worksheets, examples of scripting sheets you can use or learn to do it yourself, tips for using RT, and links to other references. You can search among the many materials available by genre, country, historical period, theme, etc.

tag(s): plays (37), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Use this website to find hints on how to dramatize the literature or folklore you're studying in the classroom. ESL students will find using Reader's Theater particularly helpful as they can read, speak, and listen to the materials and have more chances at comprehension. Similarly, students who are visual or oral learners will benefit from the multi-sensory presentations.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Adventures of Tintin at Sea - National Maritime Museum

Grades
3 to 12
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Favorite comic book character Tintin's adventures fill this site with many ways to learn. Students can sequence a story or match up words and images to practice comprehension in ...more
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Favorite comic book character Tintin's adventures fill this site with many ways to learn. Students can sequence a story or match up words and images to practice comprehension in French or English. For students interested in art and comics, the "drawing inspiration" section shows the relationship between original photos and the resulting drawings. Comments by the artist explain how each step occurred. Other features allow viewers to see Tintin's artist at work.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), french (88), sequencing (31)

In the Classroom

Share this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to show how the visuals play a key role in communicating meaning in a story. In lower grades, practice sequencing using the activities on this site. In French class, no matter the age, the sequences will be a challenge!In Art class, use the discussions of process to inspire your own students' cartooning projects. For an extension, use a site such as Toondoo to create student "strips."

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Common Craft - Common Craft Productions

Grades
K to 12
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This is a TeachersFirst Edge Entry for ANYONE who wants to know more about new technologies. No special skills needed. Watch and learn. If you are embarrassed to say that ...more
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This is a TeachersFirst Edge Entry for ANYONE who wants to know more about new technologies. No special skills needed. Watch and learn. If you are embarrassed to say that you don't know what all the "new web 2.0" terms are all about, this one is for you (and probably for your students' parents, as well). Common Craft uses a very simple, visual method of explaining all the latest technologies so that anyone can understand, using short video clips narrated by a positive and respectful voice. The next time you hear someone talking about RSS feeds or some other new doo-dad, stop here first so you will know what they are talking about. Did you think you were the only one who did not know? Fear not. This site has incredible popularity because there are LOADS of people quietly questioning -- just like you. To view the video clips FREE, click on "Video Library" and the topic that you wish to view. Despite a paid membership model, Common Craft still offers the videos for free, but it does have a watermark saying, "For evaluation only." If you wish to share this with a group, they will need to view it on individual/partner computers (or IOS devices) or on a projector that has a zoom function to enlarge a selected area of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (88), bookmarks (60), social networking (112), video (253), wikis (19)

In the Classroom

Start by looking at "Most Viewed" and "Most Popular Right Now," but don't be afraid to search for other topics that have you wondering. You will definitely want to make this site a Favorite and tag is as "professional" information to keep you informed. Share it on your teacher web page to help out your parents, too!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Princeton Review Vocab Minute Podcast - Princeton University

Grades
6 to 12
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One of the sites on the Princeton University web, this offers an interesting take on junior and senior vocabulary as offered through song. You do need a media player for ...more
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One of the sites on the Princeton University web, this offers an interesting take on junior and senior vocabulary as offered through song. You do need a media player for this to work, but Windows Media Player works great. The podcasts are one minute in length with the first 6 seconds of each taken up with the "commercial" credit. Since the groups are divided into junior and senior, it is easy to tailor it for the grade you teach.

tag(s): vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Research says that we remember things we hear in songs, so this might be a fantastic jumping-off spot for students-- particularly reluctant ones-- to learn some vocabulary. After listening to and commenting on a few of the ones offered here, students could come up with their own short songs with any vocabulary words you have in mind. Have them work in pairs to teach their song to the class or record it as their own podcast. Vocab with music can be fun!

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Cornell-Notes.com - Ryan Stewart

Grades
4 to 12
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Create ready-to-go notetaking sheets for your students or have them create their own using this online tool that generates pdf (Acrobat Reader) files to your specifications. Once you...more
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Create ready-to-go notetaking sheets for your students or have them create their own using this online tool that generates pdf (Acrobat Reader) files to your specifications. Once you choose the options you want under Create Your Personal Notepaper (blank, ruled, etc), click Submit to see your "perfect notetaking sheet" in Acrobat Reader. Click "Save a copy" to keep it or simply print it out on the spot. Results require Acrobat Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

This resource was featured in a recent New Teacher Hotline Podcast as one of the Tech Toolbox resources. Hear more about it on the podcast .

tag(s): note taking (32)

In the Classroom

If you require a notebook for your course, this is the perfect tool. Share the link from your teacher web page so students can create their own, customized sheets. Be sure to demonstrate how it works, then "write" a sample set of Cornell-style notes by sharing it on your interactive whiteboard so students can see how to use them! Learning support and study skills teachers will love this one. Middle school science and social studies teachers should encourage a consistent note-taking system like this so all students can find what works for them. Perhaps try different variations until students figure out which is best.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Alphabet Organizer - Read Write Think (Iron Monkey Interactive)

Grades
K to 12
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This Alphabet Organizer makes learning words and terminology exciting-- and organized. All levels may use this--from primary students learning the alphabet to secondary students learning...more
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This Alphabet Organizer makes learning words and terminology exciting-- and organized. All levels may use this--from primary students learning the alphabet to secondary students learning advanced vocabulary. On the interactive keypad, key in the beginning letter of a word. Key in the rest of the word on the blanks provided. You also have the option of typing in the word's meaning. When your list is entered, you may choose a booklet or a chart format for the presentation of your information. Studying content-area words or vocabulary meanings have never been so easy.

tag(s): alphabet (92), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Think outside the 'box' when considering this application. Teachers may opt to teach the elements of the story through entering character traits, setting, plot events, etc., then printing a chart to teach those concepts. Special Ed or ESL/ELL teachers and teachers will love using this organizer to help students organize new words they must learn. If students use a three-ring notebook, new words can be added over time. Mark this tool as a favorite on your classroom computer for students to access as needed.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Learning Vocabulary Can Be Fun - www.vocabulary.co.il

Grades
1 to 8
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Find engaging ways to teach vocabulary to elementary and middle school students--and their ESL/ELL classmates. The numerous games: picture matching, oral pronunciation, scrambled words,...more
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Find engaging ways to teach vocabulary to elementary and middle school students--and their ESL/ELL classmates. The numerous games: picture matching, oral pronunciation, scrambled words, crosswords, quizzes, hangmouse(!), and word searches are available in varying levels. All the games start by choosing a word category. The site creators are constantly adding new words. At the time of this review, "there are now 219 topics and 10,353 words in the vocabulary database." SUbstitutes who find themesleves without lesson plans will also love this site. It requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): crosswords (18), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

These activities are ideal for individual computer time on laptops, classroom computers, or computer clusters. Use the word topics for students to build spelling and vocabulary skills; individualize their lists by category choice or choose a topic that fits the science or social studies unit you are currently studying. Speech and language teachers will like the variety of ways to develop language skills, as well. ESL students will find the variety of spelling and word lists a refreshing way to add to their vocabularies.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Auto English - Bob Wilson

Grades
K to 12
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This is a wonderful new "labor of love" resource for second language learners and ESL teachers created by an English teacher living in Spain. It includes the typical ...more
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This is a wonderful new "labor of love" resource for second language learners and ESL teachers created by an English teacher living in Spain. It includes the typical grammar lessons, flash cards, worksheets, phrasal verb practice, and idioms, but also less typical links to many video lessons and a few audio mp3's. Many of the sections have unique applications; for example, the vocabulary section has both online interactive practice and printable materials for the same lesson. The puzzles and games section includes a variety of printable worksheets. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): grammar (216), idioms (44)

In the Classroom

This is a good overall site you can rely on for a variety of ESL purposes. Use it to find lessons and review activities for your ESL students.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ESL Monkeys Story Room - Mary and David Monkey

Grades
1 to 12
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This site offers many readable stories; short, long, and classic stories are available in full by clicking on the links on the opening page. There are also tools for using ...more
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This site offers many readable stories; short, long, and classic stories are available in full by clicking on the links on the opening page. There are also tools for using current events selections. A reading tool allows students to copy and paste a puzzling text into a box and get definitions from words in that text by clicking on the unknown words. For teachers, there are many "teaching reading" hints and links to lesson plans. Although the site focuses on ESL students, the variety and number of short stories makes it useful to all aspiring readers.

tag(s): short stories (25)

In the Classroom

Use the selections from this page to teach specific reading skills on an interactive whiteboard or for students to practice reading and language skills independently at a computer center or on laptops. If you allow students to select their own stories (ages are noted to help them find the appropriate level), they may be more interested in the story, as well.

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Lazy Readers' Book Club - Dr. Danny Brassell

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers reviews of ten new books each month in three categories; Children, Young Adult, and Adult. Selected books are easy to read and short enough to be ...more
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This site offers reviews of ten new books each month in three categories; Children, Young Adult, and Adult. Selected books are easy to read and short enough to be read without losing their appeal. Users can search for appropriate titles by author, title, number of pages, level, and rating. When searching the young adult section by pages, readers can find young adult books that range from 32 pages to full length. After searching, each display page contains 10 books with a short summary and a picture of its cover.

In the Classroom

Use this site to encourage reluctant readers to choose their own short books with subjects that interest them! For children who can't choose, encourage them to use the "Random Shuffle" feature. Share the link on your teacher web page for students and parents ot access from home. Start a "Lazy Readers" club in your own classroom, with students writing reviews you can post on a bulletin board or a reading wiki.

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Neil Gaiman - Harper Collins

Grades
6 to 12
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Neil Gaiman offers readings and videos of many of his novels and stories on this site along with essays, interviews (including one of his daughter interviewing him) and detailed answers...more
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Neil Gaiman offers readings and videos of many of his novels and stories on this site along with essays, interviews (including one of his daughter interviewing him) and detailed answers about details of his writings organized by title (see FAQs). Additional features include a blog, "Where's Neil?", biographic and award details, and press releases.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), novels (24), short stories (25)

In the Classroom

Share this site with reluctant readers as a way to interest them in reading more stories and comics about kids like themselves. If you keep a list of author sites for independent reading and book reports, add this one to the list! Tag it "author."

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Illustrated Vocabulary - Institut de la Providence

Grades
1 to 10
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This illustrated word list, grouped by category, offers users the chance to test their vocabulary knowledge of basics in English, French, Danish, and Dutch. Simply select a language...more
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This illustrated word list, grouped by category, offers users the chance to test their vocabulary knowledge of basics in English, French, Danish, and Dutch. Simply select a language and category, and the graphics in the category ask for a word choice. Immediate feedback in the chosen language indicates a percentage of correct choices and allows users to guess again.One unfortunate note: since the site creators are French, they did not capitalize the months of the year--even in English. You probably will not want to use that section of the site.

tag(s): french (88), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a review for ESL students. French language students will also enjoy this quick way to check their knowledge. Speech and language teachers or primary reading teachers who are teaching simple reading vocabulary or spelling words may want to make this site as center in their classrooms.

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Social Studies for Kids

Grades
1 to 8
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This is a general "go-to" website all about social studies. There is information about current events, culture, holidays, languages, religion, economics, geography, maps, government,...more
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This is a general "go-to" website all about social studies. There is information about current events, culture, holidays, languages, religion, economics, geography, maps, government, U.S. presidents, timelines, and many other social studies topics. The highlight of this website is the Current Events segment. This is an easy way to incorporate age-appropriate current events in your classroom.
Note: an annoying audio ad plays when you first enter the site. Turn OFF your sound!

tag(s): holidays (147), maps (288), presidents (130), renaissance (34), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Use the current events segment as weekly discussion starter or assignment in your social studies class. Share this link on your teacher web page for students to access outside of class. To really build a stronger sense of current events, start a class year-long current events "log" on a wiki and have a differnet student write a "week in review" each week throughout the year, based on the current events provided here or others he/she may know about. Reading teachers may also want to use the articles on this site to teach informational text reading skills on an interactive whiteboard. Reading levels are challenging for grades 1-3. Teachers will need to provide help by reading aloud or partnering readers.

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Myth, Legend, Fable - Snaith Primary School

Grades
1 to 8
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This website provides descriptions and examples of myths, legends, and fables. The stories are from all around the world. The comprehension levels vary from early elementary school...more
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This website provides descriptions and examples of myths, legends, and fables. The stories are from all around the world. The comprehension levels vary from early elementary school through primary (grade levels are listed with the stories). At first glance, this website may appear too juvenile for middle school students. However, many of the activities and stories are quite age-appropriate and would be both educational and enjoyable for middle school classrooms.

tag(s): folktales (65)

In the Classroom

Incorporate this website into your mythology or folktale unit. Make a shortcut to this site on your desktop and use it as a center. The website would also work well with cooperative learning groups or class activities (don't forget your interactive whiteboard).

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Fake Out! - Education Place Houghton Mifflin

Grades
K to 8
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Fake Out! is like an ongoing online game similar to "Balderdash." The game provides unusual (but REAL) vocabulary words that are categorized by grade levels: K-2, 3-5 and 6-8. ...more
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Fake Out! is like an ongoing online game similar to "Balderdash." The game provides unusual (but REAL) vocabulary words that are categorized by grade levels: K-2, 3-5 and 6-8. Students choose a word and attempt to define it by choosing among several definitions provided. If students choose the wrong definition, they are given the correct definition as well as a tally of how many times others chose each definition that is listed. Students are also given an opportunity to "create" a definition for a word and submit it to Fake Out! Student-created definitions may show up in the definition list for others to choose from.

tag(s): vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a discussion starter for word study-- what clues can help you guess what an unknown word might mean (prefixes, suffixes, roots, etc). You can also use it to reinforce dictionary skills by having students write definitions in a credible-sounding format. Take the site one step further and have students complete activities such as creating a story with the word, using the word in a sentence, acting out the definition or drawing a picture of the word. If you have a class wiki, allow students to add favorite new words to a wiki glossary throughout the year. Teachers of gifted will love this challenge for their highly-verbal

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Learning Style Inventory - Brett Bixler

Grades
5 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
This visually "plain vanilla" learning style inventory, created by an instructional designer at Penn State, is simple enough to use in a middle or high school classroom without explaining...more
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This visually "plain vanilla" learning style inventory, created by an instructional designer at Penn State, is simple enough to use in a middle or high school classroom without explaining elaborate personality traits and indexes to preteens and young adults. (There is one unfortunate mention of smoking, since the inventory was designed for college students. You may want to point it out and make an active disclaimer. about not promoting smoking!). This free, simplified inventory is short enough to complete and discuss during one class period. NOTE: the results of the inventory come up in a small pop-up window. Make sure your pop-up blocker is not preventing you from seeing them. The Google and Yahoo toolbars block pop-ups! In Internet Explorer, you can temporarily turn off the blocker by RIGHT-clicking on the narrow yellow bar that appears at the top of the web page window.

tag(s): assessment (99), learning styles (19), multiple intelligences (11)

In the Classroom

Regular ed and learning support teachers from middle school up will want to share this resource with students and parents to help students find the most effective ways to study and retain knowledge. Include the link on your teacher web page (with a note about the unfortunate mention of smoking!) or plan a start-of-the year in-class time to help students get off on the right foot. Even teachers of gifted (whose students are notorious for inconsistent study methods because they have not "needed" to study) will find this resource helpful when students "hit the wall" in challenging courses. As part of a study skills unit, have students self-assess and create a single database of the class members' learning styles and subject strengths so they can find peer-tutors during study halls.

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