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Resources for Cinco de Mayo - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Find resources and activities appropriate for Cinco de Mayo in this collection from TeachersFirst. ...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Cinco de Mayo in this collection from TeachersFirst.

tag(s): hispanic (17), holidays (151), mexico (34)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Cinco de Mayo to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons.

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Visual Recipes - Visual Recipes

Grades
3 to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
Teach students about foods, measurement, or nutrition, and find great recipes at Visual Recipes. View a picture of each step of the recipe as you read the directions. English language...more
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Teach students about foods, measurement, or nutrition, and find great recipes at Visual Recipes. View a picture of each step of the recipe as you read the directions. English language learners and new learners to foods will find this a great resource.

tag(s): cooking (35), nutrition (159), sequencing (31), visual thinking (9), visualizations (13)

In the Classroom

Choose recipes to create a menu that meets all of the requirements of the new USDA "MyPlate." Analyze a typical dish to look at calories and the breakdown of the nutrients. Be a food scientist, choosing recipes that are examples of different types of solutions (homogeneous and heterogeneous) or basic chemical reactions. Encourage healthy eating, ethnic exploration through foods, and many other topics with these easy to follow pictures and directions. World language teachers will love this visual approach to foods in another culture and can ask students to "narrate" a visual recipe in the new language while presenting on interactive whiteboard or projector. Use visual recipes to teach sequencing for writing about step by step process using words like "first, then, next." Challenge cooperative learning groups to make their own slideshow/recipe for a favorite dish of their choice using a site such as 280Slides (reviewed here).
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Kathleen, VT, Grades: 0 - 12

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Yacapaca! - Chalkface Project

Grades
4 to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This easy to use site allows you to make interactive online quizzes or use pre-made quizzes sorted by subject. You can upload classes, assign quizzes, and receive scores (if students...more
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This easy to use site allows you to make interactive online quizzes or use pre-made quizzes sorted by subject. You can upload classes, assign quizzes, and receive scores (if students are registered.) Current quizzes available range from Drama to Law to Math (and all core subjects). The format allows for any topic, and the enjoyable characters help to maintain student interest. Note: This site was created in the United Kingdom and follows the curriculum of the United Kingdom. You may notice slight spelling/pronunciation differences.

tag(s): assessment (108), quiz (88), quizzes (100)

In the Classroom

You can create and/or assign quizzes for any topic. You need not register students to simply assign an activity, but registration is required to keep and report scores. You simply check which countries to include to narrow activity searches, so decide whether alternate spellings might be an issue for your curriculum topic. Students can use quizzes either at home or in school. Use this site to help students review concepts and receive immediate feedback on their performance. There is a direct link in the quizzes to send a link to registered students or to share on social networking sites such as Facebook, iGoogle and Blogger. Assign small groups of students to create their own quiz for any topic you might be studying. Students can challenge their peers as a review.

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Read the Words - Educational Utilities

Grades
1 to 12
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Read the Words is a site that allows students to submit almost any text material and HEAR it read aloud. The languages offered include English, Spanish, and French. You ...more
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Read the Words is a site that allows students to submit almost any text material and HEAR it read aloud. The languages offered include English, Spanish, and French. You can select the speed at which the text will be read and use a wide variety of formats including Microsoft Word, PDF, a website URL, anything copied and pasted, or from RSS feeds. Likewise, students can listen to the oral text online, download it to the desktop or MP3 players, post readings online in several forms, and even create podcasts with the selected material. Users can even modify the reading avatar's appearance by selecting from those available, both male and female. Beware: inappropriate words will not be filtered, and anything typed is pronounced.

tag(s): listening (92), podcasts (55), text to speech (19)

In the Classroom

Primary or resource reading teachers may want to use this site for students to practice reading fluency "side by side" with the online avatar. World language teachers and teachers of limited English speakers will love this website as reinforcement for language learning. Students can listen as they read. They can also practice their pronunciation and compare it with any selected avatar. Use the oral readings on an interactive whiteboard or projector (with speakers turned up) for class dictations and discussion starters. Preview the vocabulary words in any file or website by selecting the read/edit option before students listen to it. Check school policies regarding individual student accounts on web sites. Here are some tips on managing student memberships that require email. Beware - if you are having students use this site, "inappropriate" words will not be filtered, and anything typed is pronounced. So be sure students are aware of guidelines and consequences.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Six Word Stories - Pete Berg

Grades
5 to 12
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Six Word Stories challenges students to create a meaningful "narrative," book summary, reaction to a movie, or other literary reflection in just six words. Based on a famous one by...more
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Six Word Stories challenges students to create a meaningful "narrative," book summary, reaction to a movie, or other literary reflection in just six words. Based on a famous one by Ernest Hemingway, the site collects the writings of amateurs and professionals. Readers can search it by theme or by genre or author (including famous ones). Links include places to try similar endeavors including 2-sentence stories and fifty-word stories. Please preview: at the time of this review, there was one inappropriate comment with a curse word.

tag(s): writing (367)

In the Classroom

Have a contest and challenge your students to submit the best 6-word story after finishing a novel, play, or poem. Try creating some together on interactive whiteboard, brainstorming first to generate possible words from which to choose, then dragging to rearrange them into a meaningful story. Make a six word story "sidebar" at the side of your class where students can work together with a partner on the IWB to generate new stories as summaries for an act of a Shakespeare play or in response to a sonnet. In a journalism class, try this for a twist on headline writing. Introduce poetry writing by having your students try their hand at expressing an emotional experience in just 6 words. ESL/ELL students often create unusual combinations in writing; why not have them display their creativity here in an acceptable form? Share this site with world language teachers also.
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Flashcard Stash - WharfWorks LLC

Grades
2 to 12
14 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. Flashcard Stash is not just another flashcard maker. Here you certainly can make your own flashcards,...more
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Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. Flashcard Stash is not just another flashcard maker. Here you certainly can make your own flashcards, but you can also find ready-made flashcards for 100 Common SAT words, 501 Spanish or French Verbs, 100 words you should know, and Words to impress your friends. You can choose to hear the words pronounced correctly, too. Flashcard Stash also uses multiple choice and fill in the blank questions, and calculates the optimal time for review. Teachers get a free account that can create classes and share lists of flashcards with your students.

tag(s): flash cards (47)

In the Classroom

Joining as a teacher you will get all the perks for free. You can create your own personalized lists and focus only on words your class needs to work on.

Change the way students learn and study vocabulary by giving it to them the way they want it with interactive flashcards and self assessment quizzes. Demonstrate with the whole class on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and use it that way periodically whenever you have a few teachable moments to fill. Embed it on your class web page for students to access frequently.

Facts, spelling words, vocabulary, definitions, foreign language, root words, historical names, all can easily be typed into this flashcard format for any subject. Plan a system of tags for sets on related material so they can be grouped. For example: tag all geography terms "geography" and all words from the same science chapter using the chapter number or topic. In the computer lab, using a projector or interactive whiteboard, walk your students through making their own sets of flashcards or use teacher created flashcards for student and group use. Students or parents can then access their electronic cards at home or anywhere. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small student groups to create verbal and visual card sets to accompany the chapters they are studying. Involve the students in the process so they can reinforce new content as they create their own "study materials."

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TV411 - Math - Adult Literacy Media Alliance

Grades
4 to 12
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TV411 offers lessons and games covering math topics from calculating area to reading a pay stub. Each lesson is offered in a slide format beginning with an introduction to the ...more
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TV411 offers lessons and games covering math topics from calculating area to reading a pay stub. Each lesson is offered in a slide format beginning with an introduction to the activity, followed by questions to answer. Upon answering questions, feedback is provided. If the answer was incorrect, an explanation of the correct solution is provided. The site also provides several math games practicing fractions, ratio, data, and percent. Spanish and ESL/ELL teachers will want to note that there is a small sample of lessons available in Spanish on the site. Many of the topics are also applicable in Family and Consumer Science or business classes, as well.

tag(s): charts and graphs (196), financial literacy (80)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as practice or review of current math topics. Provide a link to games on classroom computers for student practice. Spanish teachers may want students to complete a lesson in Spanish to provide real-world language practice. Share this site with parents through your classroom website or blog to provide review materials at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ClassBrain Games - ClassBrain

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This is a site specializing in family friendly interactives for kids and families. All are categorized for easier finding - categories include beginner games, brain games, holiday games,...more
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This is a site specializing in family friendly interactives for kids and families. All are categorized for easier finding - categories include beginner games, brain games, holiday games, and more. At the time of this review, there were 28 pages of interactives! There are also many academic categories such as math, science, social studies, and problem solving activities. No signup or user information is required. This site does have some minor advertisements. Also this site can take some time to fully load.

tag(s): holidays (151), sudoku (18)

In the Classroom

Choose activities from the site to be played on classroom computers or interactive whiteboards. Assign a game (such as DinoKids Math) for homework practice with math facts. Be sure to save this site in your favorites. Also, don't forget to share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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TypeIt - Tomasz P. Szynalski

Grades
4 to 12
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Type characters and accents in any foreign language simply by clicking them on screen using TypeIt. Especially handy for those of us who do not know the keyboard shortcuts (or ...more
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Type characters and accents in any foreign language simply by clicking them on screen using TypeIt. Especially handy for those of us who do not know the keyboard shortcuts (or ASCI codes) for accents and unlauts, this handy tool lets you compose in a text box, then simply copy/paste the text into your "destination." Now you can write text to include in the many online tools reviewed by the TeachersFirst Edge and include the accurate accents and diacritical markings vitally important to language learning. Simply keep Type It open in one tab and your tool of choice open in another. Prepare the text in TypeIt and copy/paste to text boxes in any tool or even in PowerPoint, Word, or interactive whiteboard software. Type It is easier to use than "insert character" in most word processing programs, as well!

tag(s): french (92), german (67), spanish (110), spelling (169)

In the Classroom

Have students creating projects in your language class? Now online posters made using Sway, reviewed here, or interactive timelines created using a site such as Sutori, reviewed here, can include the markings that are part of the language. Mark this one in your favorites and make it available from your class web page for students to use it any time, in and out of class.

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WinkBall - WinkBall

Grades
K to 12
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Winkball is a fun on-line video communication tool that provides a variety of publishing formats. Using a webcam, users can engage in live web chats and record video messages to ...more
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Winkball is a fun on-line video communication tool that provides a variety of publishing formats. Using a webcam, users can engage in live web chats and record video messages to email or post on video blogs and walls. Choose to communicate with the general public, set groups, or speak to only one person. Winkball supports the uploading of MPEG, AVI, WMV, and QuickTime video files and imports videos directly from YouTube. The maximum size of each file cannot exceed 100MB. There are no ads except for a very short Winkball ad that appears at the end of each video clip. This site may or may not be fully accessible inside your school filtering. You will want to check to be sure that all portions you plan to use in class will be available using your school's network.

tag(s): journalism (54)

In the Classroom

Winkball requires the use of a webcam or video camera. Simply adjust the camera for a good shot and click record. The preview feature allows users to clear away initial takes and start again. Download video camera footage onto the computer and then directly upload it to Winkball. The site supports the uploading of MPEG, AVI, WMV, and QuickTime video files. Enter a title and description for each video clip. Students can also embed videos from Youtube onto video blogs or walls. The maximum size of each file cannot exceed 100MB. The site is intuitive and involves little more than point and click abilities. Create a single class account using your "extra" email address, so you can monitor and submit student work.

Winkball has the potential to extend learning beyond the confines of your school. It can provide learning opportunities for students physically unable to attend class or who need to receive coursework from another school. Students can film various features of a field trip and share them on a video wall. Video chat will allow students to record interviews with people outside of the local community. Coordinate collaborative learning projects by having students share resources on video blog. The video blog could also serve as an on-line journal for phases of a long-term unit of study, experiment, or class project. Record the stages of a student's thinking process when engaging in creative problem solving activities. Share the value of this learning process with parents and family by posting a video wall on the class website. Create a broadcasting club and post regular news reports about school events on the school website. Upload a film clip about a historic event onto a class video blog and include a probing question that asks students take a stand on an issue, express their opinion, or debate one another on-line. Provide homework help by recording step-by step procedures to solve a particular type of math problem at home. Model ways parents can help their student with their reading. Post live coverage of class plays, concerts, and school performances so that parents at work can still be in the audience. Make language learning more authentic by using video messaging to communicate with students across the globe.

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Sentence Scrambler - altastic.com

Grades
1 to 10
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This sentence scrambler allows teachers to type or paste in as many sentences as they would like and scrambles the words at random. Any punctuation typed in remains attached to ...more
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This sentence scrambler allows teachers to type or paste in as many sentences as they would like and scrambles the words at random. Any punctuation typed in remains attached to the word it is next to. Students can then try to unscramble the sentences. Options include putting slashes or dashes between words to make them easier to distinguish. After typing/pasting the desired number of sentences, teachers should check the box marked "Add Numbers" in order to have the sentences separated and numbered. Sentences in Spanish can also be scrambled. Rearranging the words is not part of the interactive activity.

tag(s): grammar (214), inferencing (5), sentences (50), sight words (37)

In the Classroom

ESL and ELL students will find this activity useful for practicing correct English word order. Primary teachers can also use it to teach basic sight words, sequencing, and inferencing skills with short sentences. After typing/pasting in the sentences, copy the scrambled word box on an interactive whiteboard or projector and have students write or type the paragraph in the correct order.

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Jollo - jollo.com

Grades
4 to 12
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This new translation tool allows students and teachers to type a word or phrase to be translated to/from 41 languages. The site shows the words and says it has audio ...more
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This new translation tool allows students and teachers to type a word or phrase to be translated to/from 41 languages. The site shows the words and says it has audio translation, though our reviewers were not able to make it work. It also shows the translation as done by a variety of other sites on the internet including Google Translate, World Lingo, and Yahoo's Babelfish. It's very fast. There's a section where students can see common phrases and translations recently requested.

tag(s): chinese (52), greek (41), hebrew (20), italian (35), japan (61), japanese (44), russia (37), russian (29), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

If you have e-mail pals in other countries or are working on a collaborative project in multiple languages, this site will help you communicate across the world (within limits of auto-translation). You can also use this tool to underscore similarities in related languages as you study English vocabulary and its roots. In world language classes, use this site to compare translations done by the different sites and to demonstrate the fact that instant translators cannot do your homework for you! Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site with ESL/ELL students. As with any site that aggregates from multiple sources, there is some need possibility of coming up with results others have requested that are in poor taste. Also be sure students know consequences of typing inappropriate words. If you suspect that a student is using an instant translator to DO homework, this site will help you test most available translators to find the one he/she may be using.

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Sporcle - Sporcle, Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
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Try these interactives, available in a variety of subjects: Geography, History, Language, Literature, Movies, Music, Religion, Science, and others. Sporcle tests memorized knowledge...more
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Try these interactives, available in a variety of subjects: Geography, History, Language, Literature, Movies, Music, Religion, Science, and others. Sporcle tests memorized knowledge against a timer. Accessing the comments below can lead to spoilers that reveal answers. Become stumped during a game? Click on "Give up" to end the game and reveal the rest of the answers. Teachers should preview and provide the DIRECT link to the games or section (such as geography) they wish students to use. The "popular" listings and some advertising on this site may include questionable content for classrooms. . These games would be great study tools for students, both in and out of the classroom!

tag(s): elements (37), literature (275), maps (292), phonics (71), presidents (132), vowels (13)

In the Classroom

Share specific activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Teachers should provide the address URL of the actual game to prevent students from accessing other games (or advertisements that you may wish to avoid). Use these interactives as individual activities or in groups to learn a variety of data. For example, play "Element by Symbol" to review the names of the elements of the periodic table by knowing the names of the symbols. This game entertained this science teacher editor and her chemistry student son for fifteen minutes. Enjoy other science games or in subjects such as Geography, History, or Literature. Use the unknown answers that are shown at the end to create study cards in order to improve scores the next time.

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Brainflips - Brainflips, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. There is also a link to "Study Flashcards" that are already ready to go. There are ...more
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Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. There is also a link to "Study Flashcards" that are already ready to go. There are literally HUNDREDS of ready to go flashcard packets: presidents, addition, algebra, music, and more.

If you are creating your own, you can add images, video, or audio. Study flashcards online or share with others in created study groups. Use flashcards to learn new information (question and answer are side by side,) study (shows the question and then the answer,) or quiz themselves by entering answers. Create a game with the flashcards by using a timer and score board on the site. Share flashcard sets with others by sending a URL address or create study groups to share. View public flashcards created by others by using their search feature.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flash cards (47), presidents (132), word study (79)

In the Classroom

You can access the already created flashcards without any account, email, or age requirements. However, if you wish to create flashcards, an email and birth date is required to create an account. Users must be 13 years of age or older.

Using Brainflips: Use the Deck panel to enter flashcard deck title and other basic information. Use the Card panel to add, edit, and change the order of the flashcards in the deck. Create text or multiple choice answers for each flashcard and even enter alternative answers. Click "Insert" above the question field to add images, audio, and video to flashcards.

Safety/Security: Since an email and birth date are required, consider creating a class account for teacher use or for groups of students to use. Create teacher flashcards for class use by creating card decks and providing the URL for students to use. You may want to send students to the flashcards via a direct link to the deck.

Facts, spelling words, vocabulary, definitions, foreign language, root words, historical names --- all can easily be typed into this flashcard format for any subject. Plan a system of tags for sets on related material so they can be grouped. For example: tag all geography terms "geography" and all words from the same science chapter using the chapter number or topic. You can use multiple tags, too! In the computer lab, using a projector or interactive whiteboard, walk your students through making their own sets of flashcards or using teacher created flashcards for student and group use. Students or parents can then access their electronic cards at home or anywhere with a specific URL that can be placed on any teacher blog or website. No email address is needed to use the cards, only to create the cards. Include the link to your sets on your web page for students to study before tests. Collaborate with other teachers to create useful sets for all to use. Rotate responsibility each marking period among student groups in your class to create a set for each chapter/unit/week for the rest of the class to use as review. Give a special award (or bonus points) for the most creative, complete set that marking period. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small student groups to create verbal and visual card sets to accompany the chapters they are studying. Involve the students in the process so they can reinforce new content as they create their own "study materials" with color coding, images, and more.

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Bab.la - bab.la

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Need to translate words or phrases into another language? Use this free and easy to use site for translations. in various languages (Spanish, Chinese, Turkish, Russian, Romanian, Portuguese,...more
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Need to translate words or phrases into another language? Use this free and easy to use site for translations. in various languages (Spanish, Chinese, Turkish, Russian, Romanian, Portuguese, Polish, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Hindi, German, and French). View dictionaries that exist between languages, hear audio of the translations, take quizzes, or try language games. Students can play language activities such as hangman, scrambled words, memorize, or match it, as well. Customize each game by clicking "change" next to the "settings." Choose different languages, ease of play, and categories of words.

tag(s): chinese (52), italian (35), japan (61), japanese (44), korea (15), portuguese (20), russia (37), russian (29)

In the Classroom

Use this translator for understanding foreign words or how words compare between different languages. Use this in a world cultures class when looking at other cultures and to learn or use basics of their language. Have students create online books defining newly discovered words (in other languages). Use an online book making tool such as Bookemon reviewed here.

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U.S.A. Learns - U.S. Dept of Ed

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
    
This site includes FREE lessons in English and Spanish. Prospective English or Spanish learners start lessons with free registration. Registration is not required to USE the site, but...more
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This site includes FREE lessons in English and Spanish. Prospective English or Spanish learners start lessons with free registration. Registration is not required to USE the site, but it is required to track progress. When registering, an email address is optional. After registration, students can choose a course at the appropriate level. There are 3 in English and 3 in Spanish. Students can then choose the specific lessons and follow its specific activities in order for each featured topic. Learning activities include videos, transcripts for the video text, questions, listening, stories, vocabulary practice, writing exercises, quizzes, and even voice recordings for pronunciation practice. Although registration is not absolutely necessary, doing so allows students to keep a record of the activities they have already completed. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): pronunciation (44), spanish (110)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous site for ESL, ELL, learning support, and students learning Spanish! Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this site with Spanish students who do well at working on learning independently. ESL and ELL students will also benefit from going through the lessons, individually or in pairs. Teachers can register independently from their students and keep track of learner progress and participation. As students learn new vocabulary words, challenge cooperative learning groups to create an online book sharing their newfound vocabulary. Use a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Radio Lingua Network - Radio Lingua

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This site offers FREE audio episodes teaching numerous languages: Irish, Italian, Polish, Danish, Russian, Greek, French, and countless others! Featured shows have titles like "Coffee...more
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This site offers FREE audio episodes teaching numerous languages: Irish, Italian, Polish, Danish, Russian, Greek, French, and countless others! Featured shows have titles like "Coffee Break Spanish" and "One Minute French." Some of the programs require students to subscribe using a simple form, but most do not require any registration. They can then search the entire lesson content or just search by language. Focus languages include Spanish, French, German, Italian, English, and many other languages, primarily European, though Mandarin and Japanese podcasts are also available. Students will love being able to load the lessons on their Ipods, mobile phones, and computers! The "Guided Tour" section of the page allows students and teachers to learn how to use the site and focus on whatever their particular aims for study are. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): german (67), italian (35), japan (61), japanese (44), podcasts (55)

In the Classroom

Share this site, on your interactive whiteboard or projector, with world language students, particularly independent learners at whom the site is aimed. Students getting ready to take school-sponsored trips to European countries, for example, could benefit from the quick introduction and easy access this site provides to simple language lessons. ESL and ELL students will enjoy using the English podcasts as supplements to their in-school English instruction. Why not challenge students to create their own language podcasts using a site such as Podomatic (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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This I Believe, Inc. - Jay Allison, NPR, et. al.

Grades
7 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site offers essay-writing tips, podcasts, and more. Useful across a wide array of humanities topics, including English, social studies, art, music, religion, and speech, this site...more
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This site offers essay-writing tips, podcasts, and more. Useful across a wide array of humanities topics, including English, social studies, art, music, religion, and speech, this site is an inspiration to students and can serve as an essay starter, a discussion starter, or contemporary information about politics, economics, and the world. On its home page it states that this is "an international project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values that guide their daily lives." There are essays from the 1950's when the first incarnation of this idea was heard on the radio from famed journalist Edward R. Murrow. There are essays from those who are famous and those you never heard of. All of the essays are short--usually no more than 400 words. You can hear some of them as they were first broadcast on NPR, and there is a general podcast you can play which defines the site. Anyone can submit their own "This I Believe" essay as long as it follows the guidelines given, and they include essay-writing tips and advanced essay searches to assist anyone interested. The site includes special features which deal with specific topics and there are ideas for educators, students, and community leaders. The printable curricula require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): 1950s (12), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Searching the "For Educators" page gives you a wide variety of ideas for using this site and these essays. Since students enjoy using first person point of view in their writing, this might be an inspiration for some. You can use some of these essays as conversation starters on topics you are studying in class. (Example: Penn Jillette wrote his essay stating that he believes there is no god. This could be related to many books studied, such as 1984 or Brave New World.) Have students write their essays as blog entries or record them as podcasts using a tool such as Podomatic, reviewed here, or as an illustrated essay using ThingLink, reviewed here. Spanish teachers will want to explore the options to listen to or write essays in Spanish, as well.
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Make Beliefs Comix - Bill Zimmerman

Grades
2 to 12
10 Favorites 0  Comments
Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions written on notebook...more
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Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions written on notebook paper? Trying to find a way to prompt students to write even short passages? Trying to teach simple dialog to ESL/ELL students? Working on appropriate language and interpersonal skills with emotional support students? Looking for a creative way to make clever newsletter additions, bulletin board items, or class rules? Use this great online tool for both students and teachers to create web-based or printed comic strips from a selection of characters and voice bubbles-- and with your OWN text! Our editors made a sample for you to see.

This site also features writing prompts. To find the writing prompts, click to Enter The Site and then scroll to the bottom of the page. The link for Writer Prompts can be found on the bottom right side of the site. The Writer Prompts link will lead you to the creator's blog, with many writing prompts (with new prompts added often). This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (69), digital storytelling (152), writing (367), writing prompts (94)

In the Classroom

This one is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Demonstrate the tool on the whiteboard or projector and allow the class to create a strip together before you share the link on your teacher web page. Have students create strips as a quiz or other assignment and email the links to you. No more papers to carry around and grade! Build a collection of comics on different curriculum topics to use as anticipatory sets/activators or to spark discussion. Have younger students make comic strip greeting cards for Mother's Day. The possibilities are endless.

The site creators tell us that Makebeliefscomix accepts accent marks and characters from Spanish, French, Italian, German, Latin, Portuguese, in addition to English, they hope soon to add Chinese and Japanese.

Use the writing prompts to excite reluctant writers. Visit often, as new prompts are added weekly.
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Nepantla: Between Worlds - Race Bridges for Schools

Grades
6 to 12
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This lesson plan set uses a Latino story teller whose stories to promote tolerance and embrace diversity. Short MP3 extracts are provided, which can be heard on Windows Media Player...more
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This lesson plan set uses a Latino story teller whose stories to promote tolerance and embrace diversity. Short MP3 extracts are provided, which can be heard on Windows Media Player or your computer's chosen audio program. At the time of this review, some of the MP3 tracks include "My Own Rhythms," "Why Do You Want To Go To College," "Bridge Between Worlds," and many others. With a complete lesson plans accompanying the story sections, this resource is ready to use in a variety of situations. Other lesson plan topics on ths site include : Feathers of the Wind: A Jewish-American Story, A More Perfect Union, Hidden Memory: Japanese American Internment, and several others. New lesson plans and story excerpts appear often. This site requires Windows Media Player (or similar MP3 audio player) and Adobe Acrobat. You can get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): diversity (33), immigration (58), mexico (34), migration (59), tolerance (9)

In the Classroom

Social studies and language arts teachers will enjoy this site when talking about diversity, second generation immigrants, living between two cultural worlds, etc. Use some of the story extracts when your school is celebrating holidays around the world. Share the audio clips. And be sure to TURN UP THE VOLUME. When studying folk literature and culture, have your students search through the extracts for evidence of underlying myths and universal tales. Have your ESL students from Hispania compare their experiences to those in the stories.
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