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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 (324)

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.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Better at English Videos - betteratenglish.com

Grades
2 to 12
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You Tube videos at this site are organized by English learning subject categories like fruits and vegetables, cars, culture, and also by level of English. Levels go from beginning elementary...more
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You Tube videos at this site are organized by English learning subject categories like fruits and vegetables, cars, culture, and also by level of English. Levels go from beginning elementary up through advanced. The opening page features several videos with a humorous twist (such as interviewing Japanese celebrities about the difference between "like" and "hate"). A section for teachers includes suggestions of how to use specific videos and also teacher training videos. Many of the featured videos are products of professional ESL/EFL services, so this site does a good job compiling and organizing them. Although this site was created as an ESL/ELL site, much of the material would be useful for any students learning grammar.

Teachers will need to set up videos to be used in class (and supervise WELL) to control student viewing. There are some questionable links on this site including "Uncensored English" and "Sick Videos." There are also advertisements on the top and right side of the website. This site is slow to load at times, so opening the site before you are ready to use it in class may save you some time. 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.

tag(s): business (58), grammar (216)

In the Classroom

Use specially previewed and selected videos to make vocabulary lessons come alive. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share with the entire class. Be sure to preview and have the video before the class sees it. Encourage your students to make their own videos or vodcasts of items you are studying in class. If teachers are unsure of how to use the videos, check the for teachers section. Check this site frequently to see what's new. List this site on your class website (with a disclaimer regarding content), for ESL and ELL families to explore together at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Up and Down Words - Merriam Webster

Grades
3 to 10
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In this activity, students learn word combinations and idioms. In a ladder sequence, students find the second half of a word combo by reading its definition and adding the second ...more
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In this activity, students learn word combinations and idioms. In a ladder sequence, students find the second half of a word combo by reading its definition and adding the second word.That, in turn, becomes the first part of the next answer. The goal is to get to the 7th word combo whose second half started the game. Clickable hints assist students with the first letter missing word. You are able to click on the clues (to get more letters) as often as needed to solve the puzzle. There are new puzzles every weekday and archived puzzles from previous dates. There are two difficulty levels. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): grammar (216), idioms (44), puzzles (208), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for vocabulary enhancement and understanding of idioms. Speech and language teachers may want to use it to teach word combinations, as well. Students can easily play this game in pairs. Since teachers can also print the blank activity, you can use it for a desk activity or homework assignment. After students get used to this idea, have them make their own word ladders on the interactive whiteboard, as a sequence of animated PowerPoint slides, or collaboratively as a graphic organizer using an online tool such as Gliffy or Mindomo.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Concentration - Clifford The Big Red Dog - Scholastic

Grades
K to 2
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Treat your students to this educational adventure with Clifford to practices letter sounds with a concentration game. Students are presented with eight cards. You click to flip the...more
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Treat your students to this educational adventure with Clifford to practices letter sounds with a concentration game. Students are presented with eight cards. You click to flip the cards to find (and hear) words that have the same middle sounds. Audio is provided so students (even non-readers) can easily follow along. A word list is created for students to see their progress. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): alphabet (92), phonics (75), sound (101), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students take turns navigating the website. Then create a learning center using this website (or better yet, have students work on individual computers). Be sure to provide headsets! Use this site with your youngest ESL, ELL, and special education students to help them better understand the English language. List this link in your class newsletter or on your web page for students to use for additional practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Adopt-an-Author - Steve Alten

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

tag(s): authors (120), holocaust (39), independent reading (128)

In the Classroom

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

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Visual Geography - Boris Kester and Nana Bj?rnlund

Grades
5 to 12
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This site offers rich geographical information visually: through photographs. Students select a continent to investigate. (Note: all continents except Antarctica are included.) After...more
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This site offers rich geographical information visually: through photographs. Students select a continent to investigate. (Note: all continents except Antarctica are included.) After viewing pictures of one country on that continent, they can click for a more in-depth examination and more pictures, listen to the native language of that area, click on another country to make a comparison, and take a quiz on that information. They can also select certain categories to learn more about transportation, education, religion, people, etc.

tag(s): climate (92), continents (50), countries (77)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a world cultures or geography unit or lesson on an interactive whiteboard or projector. This site offers a visual approach to studying and comparing other countries and interesting research information to use for independent projects. This site is also excellent for enrichment. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class. Use this site to introduce the countries your ESL and ELL students represent. Have your ESL and ELL students guide the interactive picture tour for the class. World language teachers can use this site as part of their cultural studies.

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KidsWWrite - Kalamalka Institute for Working Writers

Grades
1 to 10
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This e-magazine features work by children from ages 5 - 16 from all around the world. The student writings are divided into three age levels (5-8, 9-12, and 13-16). The ...more
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This e-magazine features work by children from ages 5 - 16 from all around the world. The student writings are divided into three age levels (5-8, 9-12, and 13-16). The writing includes both poetry and stories. Students can also submit book reviews of favorite works and also art. The book reviews are anecdotal and personal and also include a drawing or copy of the book cover. If students wish to search for stories on a certain topic, a search box and archives are available.

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

In the Classroom

Share samples of students' writing on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to preview for content inappropriate for your classroom. Have your students create cover art and write stories, book reviews, or poetry to submit to this site. Of course you will want written parent permission before submitting student work to this online magazine. Students should submit their work without identifiable names and location, according to your school policy.If your school prohibits using blogs to post student writing, this is a middle ground alternative to get their works in front of a wider audience.

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Polite English - English Portal.com

Grades
2 to 8
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Polite English offers practice with many frequently-used expressions by category. Students can select to see all offerings or just those at their level: beginning, intermediate, and...more
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Polite English offers practice with many frequently-used expressions by category. Students can select to see all offerings or just those at their level: beginning, intermediate, and advanced. All lists have a series of remarks, quick quizzes, and immediate evaluations of the students' work. The quiz types include drag and drop, true or false, and multiple choice. The drag and drop feature is a bit difficult to manage, just remember to click on the word first to make it "moveable." The British English spellings may surprise some students. Unfortunately, there is not a pronunciation feature.

tag(s): grammar (216)

In the Classroom

Use this site for ESL and ELL students, or even basic grammar review in a regular language arts class. Help students learn "survival language," such as greetings or saying thank you. Save this site as a favorite on your classroom computer(s) so ESL/ELL students can add new expressions to their present knowledge. Send this site home (or list it on your website) so your international families can benefit from it.

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Cepstral Text-to-Speech - Cepstral

Grades
1 to 12
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An exciting "text-to-speech" service offers voice readings of text you enter into the reader. In addition to having any text read, you can choose the type of voice you want ...more
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An exciting "text-to-speech" service offers voice readings of text you enter into the reader. In addition to having any text read, you can choose the type of voice you want (male or female) the language you want (American English, UK English, German, Spanish, French, etc..) and change its speed, tenor, and "effect." This great tool for ESL, ELL, special education, and limited-sight students does show some distortion if you choose the very lowest rate of speed, but the adjustments are helpful. New digital voices will be added, so be sure to check the selection frequently. Warning: much of this site is for a fee, including a software download that has a cost. The "free stuff" is in this Demos area. This site uses Quicktime. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): french (88), german (64), italian (33), listening (91), pronunciation (44), spanish (108), speech (92), text to speech (16)

In the Classroom

Type or paste what you'd like to be read into Cepstral's demo box. Listen to American and British English accents with your ESL and ELL students and ask them to note specific pronunciation differences. This site would also be useful in foreign language classrooms. If you teach Spanish, Italian, French, or German; why not display the demo on an interactive whiteboard or projector and turn up your speakers. Show students how to use the site, then share it as a link on your teacher web page for them to use when practicing at home or outside of class. Why not assign students to learn several "homework" phrases on their own each week, assuming they have access to computers at home or during study times at school. Speech and language teachers will like offering a new way for students to play and replay good speech "models." This tool will help your auditory learners and visual learners (being able to listen as they see the words).

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ESL HQ - ESL HQ

Grades
1 to 6
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This site helps regular classroom, ELL, and ESL teachers prepare vocabulary review and game sheets by providing ready-made sets of pictures and flashcards. You must register, but registration...more
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This site helps regular classroom, ELL, and ESL teachers prepare vocabulary review and game sheets by providing ready-made sets of pictures and flashcards. You must register, but registration is free and is simple. The many topics and options are a bit difficult to find because of all the forums and blogs on the page; just look for the tabs across the top of the opening page and also "See this Worksheet" when you enter a subject category page. Registrants can create their own combinations of the pictures provided and leave a copy of the worksheet at the site for others to use. The pictures themselves are fairly neutral and would work with all elementary levels. Warning: this site has several advertisements that can be rather distracting. Also, due to the forums and blogs, this is NOT a good site to send students to independently.

tag(s): clip art (10), flash cards (46), printables (38), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

This site is a time saver when you are looking for pictures around a certain theme for your ESL and ELL students. Select whatever pictures you like and create worksheets, games, and flash cards. Have students review the pictures and vocabulary with each other after you demonstrate the activity.

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Clifford's Big Dig - Scholastic

Grades
K to 2
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Bring everyone's favorite "BIG RED DOG" into your classroom with this interactive storybook. Students are presented with an audio version of the story. Some of the story pages are missing...more
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Bring everyone's favorite "BIG RED DOG" into your classroom with this interactive storybook. Students are presented with an audio version of the story. Some of the story pages are missing words. Students have to use their phonics skills to choose the correct answer from multiple choice answers. This activity requires no preparation, is very simple to use, and takes about 15-20 minutes. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): phonics (75)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use this website on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Then have students work on at their own pace on individual computers or with a partner to read/listen to the story. Be sure to include headsets! An audio version of the story is provided, so even non-readers can easily navigate this website.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Call 911 - learningbox.com

Grades
K to 3
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This simple website presents young students with information on what to do in the event of an emergency - call 911. The best aspect of the site is that there ...more
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This simple website presents young students with information on what to do in the event of an emergency - call 911. The best aspect of the site is that there is an interactive telephone that allows students to practice calling 911. For example, they show a house with fire coming out of the window and students need to determine when to call 911. The website times the response time of the phone call. This offers excellent practice for emergency situations, without ACTUALLY dialing 911 on a real phone. This site requires Shockwave. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): fire (25), fire prevention (10)

In the Classroom

Share the text of this website on an interactive whiteboard or projector during fire prevention week or while studying a unit on safety. Have students work on individual computers or a center to practice calling 911. Special ed teachers working with severely challenged students will find this safety lesson valuable--perhaps a real lifesaver!

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Nina Loves To Name Things - Scholastic

Grades
K to 2
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This website challenges students to use their reading, listening, and organization skills.The site even works for non-readers, since clicking the items says the word aloud. Nina (a...more
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This website challenges students to use their reading, listening, and organization skills.The site even works for non-readers, since clicking the items says the word aloud. Nina (a fun and friendly green animal), offers students various places to go and explore: farm, aquarium, supermarket, airport, museum, garden, zoo, firehouse, and many other places. When students arrive at their destination, they are presented with a box and various items. The challenge is to drag and drop the items that belong in the chosen location into the box. For example, in the restaurant students could click and drag a napkin, french fries, salt, and other items. There are also items that don't belong in the chosen location. For non-readers, the items can be clicked on to hear the word read aloud. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): listening (91), sorting (10)

In the Classroom

Create a learning center about sorting and naming using this website. Allow students to practice at this individually or to make their own "sorting" groups from clip art on PowerPoint slides. This is also a great site for younger ESL, ELL or speech/language students.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles - Alexander Bogomolny

Grades
3 to 12
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Although we don't usually highlight a site that is simply a list, this list is worth mentioning. There are literally hundreds of math activities at this site (all Java applets). ...more
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Although we don't usually highlight a site that is simply a list, this list is worth mentioning. There are literally hundreds of math activities at this site (all Java applets). The activities are divided up into the following categories: Arithmetic, Math Games & Puzzles, Logic, Fractals & Chaos, Fallacies, Calculus, Combinatorial Games, Algebra, Visual Illusions, Computer Math Magic, Combinatorics, Geometry, Eye Opener Series, Social Science, Mathematical Droodles, and Analog Devices. Each category has numerous interactive activities included. The site is frequently updated. There are some small advertisements at the site. This site is simple to use and offers a wealth of options for many grade levels. The activities are not time-consuming and offer simple explanations with the applets.

tag(s): angles (88), logic (235), money (193), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Use these applets on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an anticipatory set for a lesson in math class. Have students work independently on the logic and puzzle activities. These activities are ideal for gifted students (for advancement and/or enrichment) or extra practice for struggling students. Provide this link on your class website, so students can explore at home or as review.

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Beginning Readers - Johnnie's Story Page - Johnnie Wilson

Grades
K to 2
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This image-rich website provides over sixty interactive stories for young children to enjoy. Johnnie Wilson, mentor math coach and former 5th grade teacher, has collected several math...more
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This image-rich website provides over sixty interactive stories for young children to enjoy. Johnnie Wilson, mentor math coach and former 5th grade teacher, has collected several math and language arts links to create several compilations of the "best of the best." The color coded descriptors let you know if the story includes text, pictures, sounds, animations, and videos. Most of these beginning reader stories involve the ABCs and rhyming words. Most of the interactive stories also include interactive phonics and grammar activities. This is a MUST-SEE for primary language arts classes, special education classes, ESL and ELL classes, and others.

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

tag(s): alphabet (92), grammar (216), interactive stories (32), phonics (75), preK (281)

In the Classroom

There are so many ways to integrate this website into your lessons. Save this website in your favorites, you will want to visit often! Why not use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share the stories and activities with your class. During your language arts block, use this website as a learning center for students to explore independently. (Be sure to provide headsets). Don't forget to list this link in your class newsletter or on your class website, so students can practice their reading skills at home or maintain skills during vacations.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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YourDictionary - LoveToKnow Corporation

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
A definitive authority on words, this free site gives you definitions, thesaurus entries, spellings, pronunciations, and etymology results. Add to that list an audio pronunciation system...more
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A definitive authority on words, this free site gives you definitions, thesaurus entries, spellings, pronunciations, and etymology results. Add to that list an audio pronunciation system that allows you to hear the word as well. YourDictionary also provides resources to help you find foreign language translation sites. It even directs you to medical, computer, or electricians' dictionaries, and many more. Haven't you always wanted to say a tongue-twister in the Asante language? Words have never so much fun. This site does include some advertisements.

tag(s): thesaurus (24)

In the Classroom

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

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Older Readers - Johnnie's Story Page - Johnnie Wilson

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

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

tag(s): folktales (65), interactive stories (32), mysteries (25)

In the Classroom

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

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Classic Stories - Johnnie's Story Page - Johnnie Wilson

Grades
K to 6
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This website offers a compilation links to about thirty interactive classic stories. Read Greek Myths, Alice in Wonderland, The Life of Buddha, The Golden Goose, Ramayana, Aesops Fables,...more
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This website offers a compilation links to about thirty interactive classic stories. Read Greek Myths, Alice in Wonderland, The Life of Buddha, The Golden Goose, Ramayana, Aesops Fables, Hans Christian Anderson, Grimms Fairy Tales, and numerous others. The color coded descriptors let you know if the story includes text, pictures, sounds, animations, and videos. Most of the interactive stories also include interactive phonics and grammar activities. The reading levels vary, so preview the stories before sharing them with your students. This is a MUST-SEE for primary language arts classes, special education classes, ESL and ELL classes, and others.

This website was created by Johnnie Wilson, a mentor math coach and former 5th grade teacher. Be aware, there are minor unobtrusive advertisements at this website. Nearly all of the interactive stories require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): air (163), folktales (65), greek (41)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous way to share classic stories, fables, fairy tales, and myths! Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce your students to these wonderful stories. Use this website in your language arts classes, special education classes, with your ESL and ELL students to share these classic stories. Challenge your gifted students to create new "classics." Have students work in pairs to explore this website (provide headsets), and then share their classic story with the rest of the class. Explore the "less known" stories available at this site. Don't forget to provide this link in your class newsletter or on your class website, so students can practice their reading skills at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Word World - PBS Kid

Grades
K to 2
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This language-rich website offers countless language arts activities for young elementary students. Based on the PBS show, Word World, this website highlights animals and objects in...more
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This language-rich website offers countless language arts activities for young elementary students. Based on the PBS show, Word World, this website highlights animals and objects in the environment. The animals and objects are all shapes AND words, everything has a label. Some examples of language activities include spelling, letter sounds, rhyming, upper case and lower case letters, and many others. Click on any of the animals to start your class's language learning adventures. There is also a link for parents and teachers that provides additional information about the TV show, website activities, and lesson ideas. This site is adaptable to use in the regular classroom, ESL and ELL classrooms, and special education students. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): alphabet (92), phonics (75), preK (281), sound (101), sounds (68), spelling (168), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Treat your students to an "animal of the week." Each animal adventure challenges students with new language skills. Use an interactive whiteboard or projection screen to share this website with your class. Then make the site a center in your classroom. Provide this link in your class newsletter or on your class website so students can practice language skills at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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SUPER WHY! - PBS Kids

Grades
K to 2
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This fantastic website, created by PBS, is a language arts dream! There are online stories, vides, interactive games, printable pages, and more. Topics include spelling, letter recognition,...more
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This fantastic website, created by PBS, is a language arts dream! There are online stories, vides, interactive games, printable pages, and more. Topics include spelling, letter recognition, phonics, rhyming, sight words, and other language arts topics. If you are looking for a new way to excite young readers, this is one to try. For most of the interactive activities, click on the GAMES link (they are all educational). This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): alphabet (92), phonics (75), preK (281), sound (101), sounds (68), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Turn up your speakers and use your interactive whiteboard or projector to display these engaging activities, and get ready for some excited students! Once the site is introduced, set this website up as a learning center (with headphones!) during your language arts block. Go to Super Stuff for printable language arts pages to use for extra practice. Share this link with parents via your teacher web page so they can help struggling readers enjoy learning.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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