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Beat the Clock - British Council

Grades
3 to 9
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This site offers applied vocabulary and grammar review in quiz format. Although this site was designed for ESL and ELL students, much of the material would be applicable in a ...more
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This site offers applied vocabulary and grammar review in quiz format. Although this site was designed for ESL and ELL students, much of the material would be applicable in a regular education language arts class. Every quiz has a time limit (visible to students), and consists of six or more questions. Feedback on the quiz is immediate. The topics and difficulty level range from low intermediate to high. Topic examples include "Soccer vs Football," "Adjectives and Adverbs," and "Passive Tenses." Students who need more practice on a certain area can click on "Related Pages" to review something similar but with a different format. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): grammar (216), verbs (41), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Share this with students who need to review their grammar but are impatient with "boring" grammar exercises. This site assumes students know some grammar and some vocabulary; it is a tool to check how accurate their understanding is. Save this site in your favorites, and check back often (new material is added monthly). List this site on your class website for students to use for at-home practice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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English Interactive - English Interactive

Grades
2 to 6
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This website, targeted for ESL and ELL students, offers extensive resources and activities. At the top is a great vocabulary section. Click on a topic to get words within the ...more
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This website, targeted for ESL and ELL students, offers extensive resources and activities. At the top is a great vocabulary section. Click on a topic to get words within the topic (such as weather, verbs, tools, everyday items, things with the letter "B," and others). One click lets the student hear the word pronounced by a male, another click and a female voice will pronounce the same word. Many categories contain quizzes too. Other parts of the page include links to excellent sites such as online newspapers, the text and reading of Keats' The Snowy Day , web exercises, and many others. The links are roughly organized by categories such as grammar, listening, reading, general ESL, video, testing support, speaking, writing, etc. If there's been an ESL or ELL site you've used and lost, you can rediscover it here.

The site does have some advertisements, most of which relate to the topic and are not distracting from the content. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Use the vocabulary section to reinforce very basic vocabulary with ELL and ELL students in your class. It's great for them to hear several people pronouncing each word. Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students work with a partner to try the activities (don't forget the headsets).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Merpy Stories - M. R. Petit

Grades
K to 3
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Need some extra safe, online reading for your students? Merpy stories await the eager reader. Engaging, with versatile vocabulary, the Merpy characters will delight your new readers....more
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Need some extra safe, online reading for your students? Merpy stories await the eager reader. Engaging, with versatile vocabulary, the Merpy characters will delight your new readers. Make sure to check out the holiday episodes. These stories do not read the words for the students, but rather provide animation and fun sounds. For extended learning, paper dolls and other crafts add to the Merpy fun. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): literacy (103)

In the Classroom

Merpy stories will be a wonderful addition to your computer literacy lab. Share the stories on an interactive whiteboard or projector and read the stories together as a class. Individual or paired reading would also work well. After reading several Merpy stories, students may be able to create their own 'Merpy-esque' stories using PowerPoint and animated clipart. For the Spanish learner or ESL/ELL student, check out the four Merpy Spanish versions.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Kids and Reading - John Rowlinson, Kids and Reading, UK

Grades
K to 8
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Geared to teaching parents about reading, this site offers a great review of reading methods, classroom methods, special concerns (i.e. ADHD, autism), booklists, motivation, tool and...more
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Geared to teaching parents about reading, this site offers a great review of reading methods, classroom methods, special concerns (i.e. ADHD, autism), booklists, motivation, tool and techniques to use, etc. Even though it is a British site, it is totally applicable to the USA and other areas throughout the world. You will find a wealth of information to share with your students' parents at Open House and throughout the year. There are some minor advertisements at this site (all related to the topic).

tag(s): adhd (28), autism (22), dyslexia (7), guided reading (47), learning styles (19)

In the Classroom

Sign up for the newsletter to receive new information every month. Provide the link to this site in your class newsletter or on your class website, so parents can sign-up for the newsletter also (and use the free resources).

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Alien Punctuation - BBC

Grades
1 to 4
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Come along with Max and Molly and help them "talk to the aliens" and correct their punctuation. There are three levels of difficulty. The beginning level mainly focuses on capitalization,...more
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Come along with Max and Molly and help them "talk to the aliens" and correct their punctuation. There are three levels of difficulty. The beginning level mainly focuses on capitalization, periods, and question marks. The more difficult levels delve into more complex punctuation (commas, quotation marks, and more). The website also features a "full screen" option, printable worksheets, engaging sound effects (which can be turned off), and animations.

Although this site uses British English, this activity is useful to practice American English. At the time of this review, all words were common in both forms of English. The site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): punctuation (43)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this activity on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then, create a learning center for students to use this website, or provide individual laptops or computers. Be sure to provide headsets. Use the three difficulty levels to differentiate for your students. You may want to list this website in your class newsletter and on your class website so students can practice punctuation at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Kung-Fu Sentences - BBC

Grades
1 to 2
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This site challenges students to create sentences. One or several words are provided and students must click and drag them in the correct order to construct a sentence. There are ...more
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This site challenges students to create sentences. One or several words are provided and students must click and drag them in the correct order to construct a sentence. There are three levels of difficulty. The main difference between the simple and more difficult levels are the amounts of words or statements to put into the correct order. Easier levels only have three words, while more difficult levels have five or more.

The website also features a "full screen" option, printable worksheets, engaging sound effects (with an option to turn the music off), and animations. Although this site uses British English, this activity is useful to practice American English. At the time of this review, all words were common in both forms of English. Be aware: the animation of this activity can be a bit distracting. The site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): grammar (216), punctuation (43), word order (5)

In the Classroom

Use the three difficulty levels to differentiate for your students. Share this website with your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector and show the students HOW to use the program. Then, create a learning center for students to use this website, or provide individual laptops or computers. Be sure to provide headsets. Why not split your class into two teams and make this activity a class competition. Have students create their own Kung-Fu Sentences (minus the "karate kid") using WORD or good old fashion paper and pencil.

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

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Matching Word Golf - BBC

Grades
1 to 4
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Max and Molly are golfing in outer space. This synonym activity provides a sentence asking students to figure out a word with a similar meaning (three choices are provided). Students...more
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Max and Molly are golfing in outer space. This synonym activity provides a sentence asking students to figure out a word with a similar meaning (three choices are provided). Students must click on the word with the similar meaning, and then the golf club swings towards the ball. Although this site was created by the BBC, at the time of this review, all words included were used in both British English and American English.

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

tag(s): grammar (216), synonyms (38), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Synonyms can be tough for young learners. Use this site to make synonyms simple. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share this website with your class. Use the three difficulty levels to differentiate for your students. This site is ideal to use with younger ESL and ELL students, and any class learning about synonyms. Create a learning center for students to use this website, or provide individual laptops or computers. Be sure to provide headsets. Why not print off the worksheet for additional practice or enrichment.

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

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Travelling Pronouns - BBC

Grades
1 to 3
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Max and Molly are on holiday (vacation) and writing notes to friends back home. Can you help them choose the correct pronouns to complete their sentences? This site offers three ...more
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Max and Molly are on holiday (vacation) and writing notes to friends back home. Can you help them choose the correct pronouns to complete their sentences? This site offers three levels of difficulty. The easier levels include fewer blanks to fill in.

The website also features a "full screen" option, printable worksheets, engaging sound effects (which can be turned off by clicking "music OFF"), and animations. Although this site was created by the BBC, at the time of this review, all words included were used in both British English and American English. The site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): grammar (216)

In the Classroom

Pronouns can be tricky! Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share this website with your class. Use the three difficulty levels to differentiate for your students. This site is ideal to use with younger ESL and ELL students, and any class learning about pronouns. Create a learning center for students to use this website, or provide individual laptops or computers. Be sure to provide headsets. Why not print off the worksheet for additional practice or enrichment.

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

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Pirate Spelling - BBC

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

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

tag(s): spelling (168)

In the Classroom

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

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

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Alphabetical Adventure - BBC

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

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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

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River Rhyming - BBC

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

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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

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Word Girl - PBS Kids GO!

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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Seussville - Random House

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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Kids Memory - kidsknowitnetwork

Grades
1 to 8
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This site claims to improve memory with its interactive games. The highly interactive games include one that's similar to the game Memory. Others include remembering a series of numbers,...more
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This site claims to improve memory with its interactive games. The highly interactive games include one that's similar to the game Memory. Others include remembering a series of numbers, one in which you click on bulbs that light up after the lights turn off, and one that has you click on parts of faces to improve sequential memory. Most of the games have several levels so these activities can easily be differentiated for your students. The site provides specific ideas for ways teachers can use the activities.

There are some minor advertisements included at this website. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Have a team competition as students use the site on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or computer station for higher scores or better times than another team. Learning support teachers may want to try it as a memory improvement tool. Our editors really do not know if it works or not. Leave a comment on this review if you try it(TF members can do this)!

Save this site in your favorites. Use the site for enrichment, or test it out as a memory tool as you try out different study skills. You may want to list this site in your class newsletter and on your class website for students to use at home.
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Interactive Drama - Skotos & individual authors

Grades
9 to 12
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This is an interesting set of scenarios, mostly written in murder mystery format, by ESL and ELL students in Taiwan. Very little editing was done to the scenarios, so you ...more
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This is an interesting set of scenarios, mostly written in murder mystery format, by ESL and ELL students in Taiwan. Very little editing was done to the scenarios, so you may notice some grammatical and spelling errors. Be sure to preview whichever of these scenarios you want to use to be sure they are appropriate for your students (although most of them are fine). Most of the scenarios are available in either WORD or PDF versions. If you need Adobe Acrobat, you can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

The murder mystery set-up is always a hit with students and provides both acting practice as well as revision skills since some of the writing needs work due to the nature of being written by ESL and ELL students. Have students prepare and perform the scenarios for each other, having the rest of the class act as the audience, guessing the answer to the mystery.

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Spoken English - Active Audiences

Grades
5 to 12
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This ESL and ELL site offers grammar review of over 50 topics, available with a quick glance at the opening page. Although the lessons are not visually interactive, audio is ...more
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This ESL and ELL site offers grammar review of over 50 topics, available with a quick glance at the opening page. Although the lessons are not visually interactive, audio is provided. The site is a good source for reviewing weaknesses and getting some extra practice. Many of the lessons have the title of the lesson in four other languages so the students will know quickly what they are studying.

Although this site was created for ESL and ELL students, much of the information would be useful in any classroom learning about pronouns, tenses, irregular verbs, and other grammar rules. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): grammar (216), grammar review (37), pronunciation (44), spelling (168), verbs (41)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites for ESL and ELL students to use when they ask for grammar help or need a follow up on something in class. They will also find it useful when preparing for TOEFL and similar college entry tests. Special ed teachers may want to use this auditory approach to help their students with grammar, as well.
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Multicultural Literature for Children - Children's Book Press

Grades
2 to 6
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Try this section of a popular children's publishing site to find poetry-related lessons. In the opening activity, of "The Magical Cycle of the Seasons," students write four poems, one...more
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Try this section of a popular children's publishing site to find poetry-related lessons. In the opening activity, of "The Magical Cycle of the Seasons," students write four poems, one for each of the seasons. Included materials are worksheets, timing hints, vocabulary development add-ons, and description of the entire process. Other poetry writing activities include writing poems about their school, "golden" poems, poems about every day things, and family poetry. There is also "Cross-Curricular Activities" that connect poetry to math, art, language arts, and social studies lesson plans. Click on reading activities on the opening interface to find more activities that encourage writing and reading. Although the curricular suggestions on this page refer to a specific book sold by the press, the material is adaptable.

tag(s): creative writing (166), poetry (228), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Try these activities in a mixed class containing some ELL and ESL students. Sometimes, their slightly different take on language results in beautiful creations. Save this site in your favorites and try one of the suggested activities as part of your poetry unit.
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Adolescent Literacy - adlit.org

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

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

In the Classroom

If you need ideas to get students reading for fun and to help develop their confidence, try this site. Highlight this on your class website so parents can try the activities with their older students. When doing author biographies, share this site with your class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to check out the "Classroom Strategies" link for even more literacy ideas.
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Field Trip - HUD

Grades
1 to 3
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Students can take an interactive tour (or quick picture tour) of three community sites: a park, a library, and city hall. Each location allows students to "click around" to learn ...more
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Students can take an interactive tour (or quick picture tour) of three community sites: a park, a library, and city hall. Each location allows students to "click around" to learn more about the location. For example at the library, students learn what non-fiction, fiction, periodicals, and other library terms mean. There are also links on the bottom of the page for People, Places, and Things. The People link teaches students about volunteering, the homeless, and various careers. The Places link features safe places to play, field trip links, and more. Go to the Things link to Build a Community, go on a Scavenger Hunt, or play other interactive games. Much of this site requires Flash. Get Flash from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): communities (35)

In the Classroom

Use this during your unit about neighborhoods and community. Share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then either set up a social studies computer station or have students explore on individual computers. If you plan to visit the library or town hall, preview it with a visit to this site. Have your students draw other community buildings and explain their functions by using a map or go floor by floor, as in the library visit. You could even create a class wiki "tour" using digital pictures. You might want to list this site in your class newsletter or on your class website for parents to share with their students.

ESL and ELL students learning names for community locations will appreciate this site for helping things come alive. Use this site to increase and strengthen vocabulary. Ask students to compare these locations with parallel offerings in their home communities.
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Better At English - betteratenglish.com

Grades
3 to 12
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This site features podcasts on subject areas of interest to ESL and ELL students and their instructors. Since August 2007, all material is also available as videos. The material presented...more
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This site features podcasts on subject areas of interest to ESL and ELL students and their instructors. Since August 2007, all material is also available as videos. The material presented features teaching techniques, information on new available technologies that assist students with schoolwork and language learning, and grammar and other communication techniques. Although this site was created for ESL/ELL students, it would also be useful for any students learning grammar.. All podcasts include text of the spoken or video materials. The focus for these lessons is on acquiring more vocabulary and improving oral and reading comprehension. Some of the videos come from YouTube. If your school blocks YouTube, consider accessing this site and choosing videos at home, using a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube and bring them in for class use.

This site does have several appropriate advertisements. There are also a few questionable links on the site (for example, "Uncensored English"), so be sure to supervise WELL.

tag(s): idioms (44), listening (91), slang (15), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

You will need headphones or speakers if you choose to assign students to listen to the podcasts individually. This site is excellent for enrichment or special topics. Include it on your teacher web page (with a disclaimer regarding content) for students to access both in and out of class. Use this site with intermediate and advanced level ELL and ESL students to help them improve their knowledge of English slang and idioms. If you are into video, consider creating your own student vodcasts about idioms and sharing them via TeacherTube ( reviewed here) and on your class wiki.
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