Grades8 to 12
Once registered, students can select fitting vocabulary words to put into sentences. The sentences come from popular current newspapers. The site also has standard reading lists for the top test prep sites, including GRE, ISEE, SAT, and ACT. It keeps track of which of those words a student is working on and which he/she has learned. Students who master certain words will find new, more challenging words added to their work-on list. Besides seeing the words used in context, you can also hear the pronunciation of most words, thus making it a good tool for TOEFL test takers as well.
In the ClassroomSave this site in your favorites on your classroom computers. List the link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom. Have students work with a partner to explore this site and then create a podcast incorporating the new words that they learned. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomIf individual computers aren't available, this site would work on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Make it a class challenge. Put this site in a PSAT, SAT, or ACT preparation pamphlet/web page to help students maximize their vocabulary knowledge. It is fast and easy to use. For the most advanced second language learners, this quiz would also be helpful for preparing for the TOEFL test. This is a site you want to list on your class website. As part of your regular vocabulary study, consider having student create their own "Image Quizzes" using their personal vocabulary words, then challenge their classmates! Use a simple tool such as Powerpoint to make the quiz slides (uploadable to Thinglink, reviewed here, or other slide sharing tools) or create them online on a class wiki.
Grades1 to 4
Most of the activities include a few advertisements at the top. Be sure to advise students to scroll down the page and avoid the advertisements.
In the ClassroomUse these quizzes as reinforcement of concepts. Assign students to a specific activity to practice their skills.
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): literature (273)
In the ClassroomOffer this site only to your most discriminating readers. Look at this site frequently since its offerings change weekly. Offer this site only to your most discriminating readers. Look at this site frequently since its offerings change weekly. Share selections on a projector or interactive whiteboard for "quicky" book talks or take a screen shot (with credit, of course) to display a selected review on a digital picture frame in your library/media center. Set the frame to cycle through a slide show of new book selections! Other options for cycling book reviews would be to paste them into PowerPoint slides to run in a looped show on selected media center computers or to run the screenshots as screensaver images.
Now sure how to take a screen shot? Press the PrtScrn button on a Windows computer (sometimes combined with SHIFT or Ctrl key, depending on the computer), then CONTROL+V to PASTE the screen image into an image program such as Paint so you can save it. Screenshots are even easier in Vista using the Snip tool. On a Mac, the screen shot function is Command+Shift+4 (the number 4), and the "picture" (a png image file) gets saved to your chosen location, usually your desktop. Be sure to copy the URL of the page you are "shooting" to give proper credit and place a label with your frame providing this information.
GradesK to 2
In the ClassroomUse this site on computers for very young children to be sure they find quality activities and videos to view without worrying about what else they may find. Create a language arts learning center using this site. Share the videos and interactives on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Be sure to provide this link in your class newsletter for students (and parents) to access at home.
GradesK to 10
tag(s): book lists (133)
In the ClassroomSave this site on your classroom favorite's on your computer to assist students in finding books to read and sample illustrations for art class and students' own stories. This is a great link to provide on your class website for students to access at home. Within the classroom, have students choose a former Caldecott winner to read and create a multimedia presentation. Use a tool such as bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create and share concept maps about the books.
Grades2 to 8
The site explains the levels: Level 1 (Dove) - Elementary/Primary grades 3-4; Level 2 (Owl) - Elementary/Primary grades 4-5; Level 3 (Eagle) - Grades 5-7; Level 4 (Albatross) - Grades 6-8
tag(s): news (261)
In the ClassroomUse this site when talking about current world events. After viewing a few of these, you may want your students to write, read, and record their own newscasts about local news events. Try using a site such as Thinglink, reviewed here. This site allows students to narrate a picture from the news. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as a news report. Since the printable version of the news stories are only available for a fee, you may want to have your students write their own text version of the stories instead!
GradesK to 7
In the ClassroomIf you teach math to grades K-5 (or beyond), you will want to save this site in your favorites. Use the interactive tutorials as review activities, to introduce concepts, or for students to learn as groups. Use the activities as exciting drill and practice that provides feedback on right and wrong answers. For example, use "Comparing numbers" tutorials and activities to learn and practice identifying the hundreds and tens places. Each example gives immediate feedback on right and wrong answers. Use as an individual activity or in groups to provide great examples and practice with math concepts. Be sure to list this link on your class website so students can access (and practice) both in and out of the classroom.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): news (261)
In the ClassroomCheck here for well-developed lesson plans for a specific topic you'd like to teach. Or scroll through the offerings for your grade level and subject. Complete directions for each lesson plan will guide you through how you can use it in the classroom. Share the interactive or photos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Save this site in your favorites to visit often for some new ways to freshen up the content in your class.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomIf 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.
GradesK to 5
In the ClassroomUse these videos as starters for discussions in class. These videos could be used as whole class activities on your projector or interactive whiteboard or individually (don't forget the headsets). You may also want to create a story learning center where students can view the videos in small groups or individual computers. Many topics are discussed with these classic videos from Sesame Street, Disney, Muppets, PBS, and more.
Grades2 to 12
Use the embed code and URL codes with each clip to provide link or embed a specific clip into a blog, wiki, or other site.
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): movies (71)
In the ClassroomNone, if you simply wish to view clips. Clips can be played through the site. Copy the URL or embed codes under "Share this clip" to link or share the video.
Student registration is not advisable due to mature content.
Use the clips for vocabulary with ESL or ELL students. Introduce other curriculum topics or lessons using the clips on this site. For example, use video clips to get students thinking about concepts such as tornadoes, animals, feelings, or decision-making. As you teach about characterization in literature or creative writing, use movie clips to illustrate how a writer can "show not tell" about a characters personality or motivations. Have students observe the outward signs the actor uses to SHOW what he/she is feeling, then use these signs in writing their own stories: the way the eyebrows move, the body language, etc. Emotional support and autistic support teachers can use the clips to help students learn to "read" human feelings.
Grades1 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomIf your students have never tried to make a Blabber, share the introduction blab on the home page (click the Blabberize logo to get there) on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Browse a few examples first to get ideas on how to make a mouth on your photo to move and "talk." Be sure to turn up your sound! Have a student demonstrate uploading an image from a safe and legal source. You may want to use a single, whole-class account you create with your "extra" email account. Be sure to spell out consequences of inappropriate use/content of blabs. Have students enter the site through the "Make" page link provided in this review to steer clear of the "latest" blabs. You may want your students to make their blabs "private" so they do not show on the public areas, depending on school policies.
Blab the homework directions on your teacher web page. Have your students use photos or digital drawings to "blab"! Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then make it "speak." Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters tell about themselves. This tool is great for gifted students to go above and beyond the basics with an independent project. Create entire conversation sequences of blabs between people in world language or ESL/ELL classes (with students speaking in the language, of course), then embed them in a wiki. Have speech/language students make blabs to practice articulation and document progress over time. Promote oral reading fluency with student-read blabs. Create book "commercials." Have students blab what the author may have been thinking as he/she wrote a poem or literary selection or as an artist painted. Blab politicians' major platform planks during campaigns for current events. Blab the steps to math problem solving. Even primary students can make an animal blab about his habitat if you set up the blab as a center. Make visual vocabulary/terminology sentences with an appropriate character using the term in context (a beaker explaining how it is different from a flask?) Students could also take pictures of themselves doing a lab and then blab the pictures to explain the concepts. This would be a great first day project (introducing yourself and breaking the ice). Share the class blabs on your class web page or wiki! Give directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to grab parents' attention for important information.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomKeep this link handy among the resources on your class web page or wiki, and be sure to bring it up on your screen or interactive whiteboard to remind students of the rich tools it offers as you teach grammar, revision, poetry, essay-writing, or even letter and resume writing. With primary grades, share the rhyming words to help teach spelling and phonics! As students share in revising a passage or writing a poem on the interactive whiteboard, have this thesaurus available on another window to model their search for just the right word. Encourage students to look up any new vocabulary or terminology at the start of new science or social studies units so they can gain a broader "sense" of the words themselves through a constellation of synonyms and related words. Help students refine vocabulary by having them rank the various synonyms offered for a certain word, deciding which has the most positive or negative connotations. Offer the writing prompts for student journal or blog posts or creative stories. ESL/ELL students can explore new words with this tool, even practicing the rhyming sounds and noticing their varied spellings. Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.
NOTE: If students enter an inappropriate word, they WILL find classroom-inappropriate terms. As with use of any reference, your students need to know your classroom's consequences of such activity. The options are no different from students looking up body parts or pornographic terms in a print dictionary or on Google.
GradesK to 7
In the ClassroomCreate student groups to work on various games for speed and accuracy. Strengthen your students' ability to use and understand math concepts with the vast variety of activities and skills on this site. These games would be exceptional on a projector or interactive whiteboard for class team activity. List this site on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomAlthough intended for students with special needs, this site would also be helpful for teaching basic English vocabulary (emotions, facial expressions, positions), for safety lessons during bus safety week, and for ESL/ELL learners. The many printables in the free areas will also help you teach basics of any primary classroom. Speech/Language teachers, emotional support teachers, and autistic support teachers will appreciate the many ways to share emotion words, including an interactive facial expression tool and the emotions color wheel. Many activities are well-suited for interactive whiteboard with the student navigating using his/her finger or touch tool. Others would make ideal learning centers at a classroom computer with headphones. Share this site with parents, as well, via a link on your class web page, since many of the activities bear repeating over and over.
Grades5 to 12
Registration does require an email address. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes.If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.