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TeachersFirst's Study Skills Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students learn their most effective study strategies. The collection includes specific study tools, reading...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students learn their most effective study strategies. The collection includes specific study tools, reading strategies, review ideas, and notetaking methods that students and teachers can try as lessons in themselves or --even better-- as they go about the regular curriculum. Whether you want to use a graphic organizer, create your own electronic flash cards, or simply learn how to approach a test, there is a resource to help. Learning Support teachers and teachers of gifted will also want to share these alternate ways for students to organize and retain concepts, vocabulary, and more.

In the Classroom

Make learning how to learn part of your class routine at any grade level and in any subject. Feature one or more new study strategy each month and share this entire list as a link from your class web page for students and parents to access both in and out of school.

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Tagxedo - Hardy Leung

Grades
K to 12
14 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Want a word Cloud with Style? Create one here! A word cloud is an image of words that show the most frequent word in a larger font than the others. ...more
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Want a word Cloud with Style? Create one here! A word cloud is an image of words that show the most frequent word in a larger font than the others. Create a visual representation of a passage to pull out and identify important words or show the text in an interactive, visually appealing way. The resulting cloud pops out the words as you roll over them, so viewers can "see" each word separately. See a sample, created by the TF Edge review team. Explore the gallery for many inspiring examples, including some that use the customizable image shapes uploaded from your own computer (premium feature). Some features may change slightly after the beta phase, but developer Hardy Leung assures TeachersFirst users, "Even after beta you'll be able to save the animated version of the Tagxedo for free to your computer or to the web without the paid version. I may require a membership, though unlikely, but even then I'll make sure there is a free version for teachers and students."

Tagxedo requires Silverlight. The site will appear as a blank page with the "Install Silverlight Plugin" button if your computer does not have it installed. See your tech folks to allow download and installation of this plug-in if school computers do not have it and/or are "locked down."

tag(s): firstday (25), vocabulary (325), word choice (27), word clouds (11)

In the Classroom

NO membership required to create a cloud, though saving may require a (free) membership in the future, according to developer Hardy Leung. Click "Create" and then "Words." Paste URL to "cloud" words from a web page or copy/paste (or type) a passage of words into the given field. (Repeat words to make them larger). Experiment with various settings and "themes" to create the different colors and shapes of the word cloud. Change the theme, shape, direction, layout, and other parameters easily. Click SAVE to easily download a static image of various sizes or take a screenshot using shortcut keys. Saved images do not have the cool "pop-out" feature (rats!), though the developer tells TeachersFirst that users will be able to download animated versions in the future. You can also save and obtain the direct URL to your animated cloud. Be sure to bookmark it or copy/paste the URL for safe keeping in a document, wiki, etc. During beta, the tool allows you to save and copy embed code, but this feature will cost money later.

In the classroom: This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. In primary grades. Enter a group of related words into the text box, such as sight words, words with the same spelling cluster, or vocabulary terms. Then have students roll over the words to read them aloud as they pop out (only works in the ONLINE version of the clouds). Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create word clouds of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize terms and important vocabulary, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or reading passages of great literature to "see" themes and motifs of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language. Use themes and shapes that coordinate with the word cloud (for example, use a bird shape when creating a cloud about flight or a heart when interpreting a love poem. Consider using a word cloud as a first week of school activity where students discuss summer vacation or what they did over the summer. As a first day activity, students could also make a cloud with words about themselves, then have classmates guess which cloud matches which person.

For a free gift for special occasions, make word clouds about mom for Mother's Day or Thanksgiving "I am thankful" visual poems. Share them by emailing the URL or in printed form.

Comments

Very versatile, creates word clouds in specific shapes. Adds another dimension. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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Online Audio Stories - Abbey Rice

Grades
K to 3
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Bring classic children's stories to your classroom in an engaging and easy-to-use manner! This site contains many stories such as Jack in the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, The Princess and the...more
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Bring classic children's stories to your classroom in an engaging and easy-to-use manner! This site contains many stories such as Jack in the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, The Princess and the Pea and more in both audio and video format. Choose the story you want to read by genre, theme, author and other choices. Click to play and you are ready to listen and read along with the storyteller. One great feature of this site is that you can click on any word in the story and choose a language to see the word translated - a great addition for ESL students and families. All stories can also be downloaded in mp3 format, meaning that they can be played on most audio players and ipods. Note: This site may take long to load. Be patient.

tag(s): air (150), audio books (29), folktales (58)

In the Classroom

Download stories onto a mp3 player for students to listen to during reading time. Play the audio version of stories while following the written version on the interactive whiteboard. Use the stories during a fairy tale unit to compare and contrast characters. Share this link on your class web page for families to enjoy at home. These stories are worth playing over and over. Be sure to provide this link on your class website for students to explore both in and out of the classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Sentence Scrambler - altastic.com

Grades
1 to 10
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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 ...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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StoryCorps - Dave Isay

Grades
4 to 12
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StoryCorps is a nonprofit site where Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs can record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives. It is one of the largest oral history ...more
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StoryCorps is a nonprofit site where Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs can record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives. It is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind. At the site you can download a "Do it Yourself Guide", find resources for teachers, and a list of great questions. You can subscribe to their podcast, e-newsletter, and blog, or you can upload your own story or that of a loved one or friend for free. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

tag(s): questioning (34), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Grandparent's day is in September. What better gift to a grandparent than to be able to spend time with their grandchild and tell them a story about an important time in their lives? Of course, you'll want to prepare students with some interviewing skills and questions before they interview their grandparents, and show them how to record the interview with some type of recorder (tape recorder, cell phone, video camera, etc). This recording can then be submitted to StoryCorps and it will then reside at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Students can also interview parents about their first memories of school, and what they remember about the grade that the student is currently in. Share these interviews during the first week or month of the school year. Not only can these interviews be submitted to StoryCorp, but students could then do a write up of their interviews and publish them in a classroom book of memories. Have students create online books to share with the class about their interview. Use a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Or have students narrate a photo of the person they interviewed using a site such as ThingLink, reviewed here.

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Listening and Reading Comprehension - Childtopia

Grades
1 to 5
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This site offers a variety of children's stories that children can listen to while they watch scenes or graphics corresponding to the story. Besides the stories, there are both listening...more
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This site offers a variety of children's stories that children can listen to while they watch scenes or graphics corresponding to the story. Besides the stories, there are both listening and reading comprehension sections for each story. Both the audio and the text are available. As the story is being read, the words are highlighted on the page. Also available is the full screen option for the story. The reading comprehension questions use both aural and text format and also use an interesting illustration to capture the reader/listener's attention. Stories and all activities are also available in Spanish, Catalan, French, and other languages. There are some advertisements on the side. Select the full screen option to avoid them.

In the Classroom

Have students try out this site on individual computers, with head phones, or let them listen in pairs. Before they go to the questions, ask them to list the questions the site might ask them after they have seen the model of one story. Share this link on your class web page, wiki, and/or in a parent newsletter. Share the site with special language teachers at the elementary level.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Big Count - Mark Robinson

Grades
K to 3
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
The Big Count is a simple program that demonstrates numbers created when counting by 1's, 2's, 5's and 10's. Simply choose which one you prefer, click on that number and ...more
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The Big Count is a simple program that demonstrates numbers created when counting by 1's, 2's, 5's and 10's. Simply choose which one you prefer, click on that number and off you go! Although the concept is simple - the possibilities are endless when you use the pause, forward and backwards buttons at the bottom of the screen. Note: Ambleside's interactives are very popular and can be slow to load at certain times of the day.

tag(s): multiplication (222), number sense (98), patterns (88)

In the Classroom

Use on the interactive whiteboard to practice counting multiples of 1, 2,5 and 10. Start the program, then pause at a location and have students find how many times you have counted by the factor to get to the stopping point. Have students turn away from the board and move up a few numbers and have students determine how many numbers you skipped. For very beginning number recognition, have students name the numbers they see when counting by 1s. You could also name numbers in a new language to develop fluency.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Story Maker - British Council

Grades
2 to 4
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Students can write their own stories online. First they select the genre (fairy, horror, sci fi) and then select characters to be in the story, places, favorite animals, colors, etc....more
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Students can write their own stories online. First they select the genre (fairy, horror, sci fi) and then select characters to be in the story, places, favorite animals, colors, etc. The story maker then creates the short story. Students can read it there or select the printing option. At the end of the story, you can click to create another story, A dictionary is available on site. This might be useful for ESL and ELL students.

In the Classroom

This activity would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops. Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words (names of animals, pets, etc.) prior to using, either on a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard and highlighting them in the text as you come to them. Teach parts of speech as students recognize how the story maker "plugs in" their word choices to create the stories mad-lib style. Share the printables with parents at open house or conferences. Have students record their stories on a podcast and share the podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Teach parts of speech as students recognize how the story maker "plugs in" their word choices to create the stories mad-lib style.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Head Magnet

Grades
3 to 12
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HeadMagnet is a new twist on flashcards. You can create flashcards for any subject that you wish or use cards already available on the site. Once the cards are made, ...more
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HeadMagnet is a new twist on flashcards. You can create flashcards for any subject that you wish or use cards already available on the site. Once the cards are made, there are different study modes to choose - slide show, self-test and normal (type in responses). Study sessions can even be timed. After completing the study session HeadMagnet predicts which items will need more study time, enabling you to spend more time on material that hasn't been learned yet. Study lists can be shared with others, and you can search for already created materials. After completion of a study session, you can access statistics that show your overall memory of the material. You need to register to create your own materials but all items are free. Registration requires and 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. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

tag(s): flash cards (47)

In the Classroom

Create flashcards for any subject to review material being learned in class. Use this as a review for vocabulary before tests. As a pre-assessment, create a study list to use on the interactive whiteboard or projector to find out what students already know. Provide this link on your class website for students to use to create flashcards both in and out of your classroom. Learning support teachers may want to show students how to create their own cards. The process of creating the will actually reinforce skills, as well.

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School Library Journal Classroom author visits - Kate Messner

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Wow! The online School Library Journal has a lot more than book reviews. Can't afford to pay for an author visit? This article has a list of authors who will ...more
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Wow! The online School Library Journal has a lot more than book reviews. Can't afford to pay for an author visit? This article has a list of authors who will skype online with your class for free! The authors write for middle school students (grades 8-12) and teens. The article also has suggestions for what to do before the author "visit" and suggestions for during the author "visit."

tag(s): authors (122), skype (13)

In the Classroom

Plan a visit to the library, or have parents check out many of the books by the listed authors you've contacted, and bring them to your classroom. Have students look through the books and decide on one or two they want to read for a literature circle. You can form random groups by pulling popsicle sticks with student names on them out of a jar, and the students then name the book they would like to read. Once four people are reading a book that group is closed, and students will need to choose their alternate. The whole class can enjoy the visit of each author and possibly find even more books they want to read. You may want to skype or e-mail the author ahead of time to ask if students can contact the author more than once about their questions about the book. Maybe they can e-mail the author with preliminary questions. Have students or cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations about the book that they read together. Have groups compare two of the characters from the stories using a site such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ABC Fast Phonics - Carol Moore

Grades
K to 2
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This site makes phonics lessons accessible and interesting. This is a great site for ESL and ELL students who may have started learning English in another country using a phonics ...more
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This site makes phonics lessons accessible and interesting. This is a great site for ESL and ELL students who may have started learning English in another country using a phonics based approach. Students learn the names of simple letters, their sounds, blends, and simple words while enjoying the pictures and doing it themselves. Audio is also provided as you click on words and/or speaker icons. Although the principles of phonics are explained on the site, non-readers can simply scroll down to the accompanying pictures and try the various examples and "practice sets." This site is also useful for ESL and ELL students stumped by the seeming non-existence of English pronunciation rules. All primary grade level classrooms would benefit from using this site. Sample topics include long and short vowels, vowel rules, letter blends, common words, letter position, and many others.

tag(s): phonics (71)

In the Classroom

Share this site with teachers struggling with ELL/ESL or speech/language students who are having pronunciation difficulties. New teachers unschooled in phonics may also find this site beneficial. Use this site with your young students to create a learning center (don't forget the headsets).

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Story Jumper - storyjumper.com

Grades
2 to 8
8 Favorites 0  Comments
Story Jumper helps you write and illustrate stories in just seven steps-- then share them online. Begin by selecting a story format and accompanying graphic. Manipulate the text and...more
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Story Jumper helps you write and illustrate stories in just seven steps-- then share them online. Begin by selecting a story format and accompanying graphic. Manipulate the text and add other items to the picture that forms with each addition to the story. You also change the background and upload photos. Add original drawings, as well. When finished with a particular scene, go on to the next page by clicking the arrow. In order to save and share stories online, writers must complete a free registration. Although there is an option to buy the finished story in print format, this is not necessary to use the site. There is a complete guide for the teacher-friendly Classroom Edition offering detailed directions for setting up class accounts, etc.

tag(s): writing (367)

In the Classroom

Although the sentences and graphics available appear juvenile, the fact that writers can delete the text and add their own original text, photos, and drawings makes this site flexible enough to use with older students, as well. This activity would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops. Ask your students to visit the site and create an online book with their original writings, drawings, and photos. ESL and ELL students will be able to use the site easily, and will learn appropriate sentence structure and add to their vocabulary by selecting new items to put into the graphic. Older students can also create "little buddy" books for younger students to read and share.

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Lexipedia (Beta) - Vantage Linguistics

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Lexipedia is "Where Words Have Meaning." Type in a word and see what happens! This site creates a web of related words. Each color represents a different part of speech ...more
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Lexipedia is "Where Words Have Meaning." Type in a word and see what happens! This site creates a web of related words. Each color represents a different part of speech or relationship to the original word - nouns, verbs, synonyms, antonyms and even fuzzynyms! Words become more than isolated strings of letters and part of a greater web of language.

tag(s): antonyms (26), dictionaries (57), mean (25), synonyms (38), vocabulary (325), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Explore this site on interactive whiteboard or projector to show students how to improve writing with descriptive words. Consider allowing students to share a favorite word of the day for 30 seconds on your interactive whiteboard at the start of class. Use this in a word study unit by covering up the original word.Students will then try to discover the word based on the word relationships found around the word. Build understanding of parts of speech through this tool every time you look up a word. Reinforce these concepts for visual learners continuously by using the same colors every time you highlight on your interactive whiteboard. World language teachers can also type in words to demonstrate and expand vocabulary in Spanish, French, German, Dutch, and Italian. Special ed teachers, especially those in speech/language will love this tool to help students SEE relationships between words. Encourage your language-delayed students to look up words and build "word sense" even when they are familiar with the word's meaning. Make this site available as a reference on classroom computers and on your class web page.
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Interactive Maps in Flash - Enrique Alonso

Grades
3 to 12
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Interactive Maps in Flash: Educational Games in Flash for Learning Geography is exactly what the title states. What the title doesn't state is that there are three different...more
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Interactive Maps in Flash: Educational Games in Flash for Learning Geography is exactly what the title states. What the title doesn't state is that there are three different levels of activities, a "Puzzle"(like a jigsaw) where beginners can match shapes to learn where countries are located, another is titled "What's in a Name" where you select the country or capital where the dot is on the map from a pull down list, and last "Where is?" a country or capital name is put up by the program and you have to click on it on the map. This activity can be viewed in several different languages.

This is a very comprehensive map program. Do you want your students to learn continents, major water bodies? Do they need to learn countries and their states or provinces? No, problem. They are all represented here.

tag(s): capitals (25), countries (78), maps (293)

In the Classroom

One idea is to have students compete against each other as partners when they finish early with their work, or you can include this as one station that students rotate through. Another idea is to split the class in half and make the competition somewhat like a jeopardy game, allowing student teams to select which level (or category) they want for different points. Everyone gets a review when this is posted via your classroom projector or interactive whiteboard. List this link on your class website for students to use for practice at home (before the big test).
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Bestsellers - Shmoop Editors

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Bestsellers is a credible, academic resource that utilizes innovative internet based features that appeal to today's youth culture, discussing best selling literature. Do you...more
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Bestsellers is a credible, academic resource that utilizes innovative internet based features that appeal to today's youth culture, discussing best selling literature. Do you want to assign a book whose title will grab your students' attention just by the mere mention of it, like the books found on Oprah's Picks and other most read lists? Have you steered away from those books because of the lack of teaching resources, such as study guides and questions? Bestsellers, part of the larger Shmoop site written by Ph.D. and Masters students at Stanford, Harvard, UC Berkeley (and other top universities), does all of that and more. Students and teachers can access lively learning guides organized by summaries, themes, quotes, study questions, character analysis, and links to best of the web options. The pages are written in a clever, witty voice designed to appeal to students and teachers, not at all like the familiar style found in most book synopsis and reviews, and all the information is properly cited. The only complaint you might have is the limited number of books to choose from, but don't worry; books are continually being added, so check back often. Since books for both younger and older audiences share this site, you may want to preview what your students can find for other age groups.

"Bestsellers" is free to use. Additionally, there is an option to create a free account which allows the advantage of using the tools like the online dictionary, "Stickies," and sharing on social networks. Creating an account requires an email address. 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.

tag(s): book reports (37), literature (275), novels (23)

In the Classroom

Are you looking for a way to motivate your reluctant readers to pick up a book, or do you have some book hungry students who sneak to read their own book while you are teaching a lesson? The "Bestsellers" site provides a wealth of internet-based material for navigating the twists and turns of the plots and characters in books like Harry Potter and the Twilight series. The online learning guides have a table of contents that gives a quick view of what is included in each tab, which enables you to quickly find what you want without opening each section. This site provides more information than the standard textbook teacher's edition, and provides brilliant connections between some of the literary classics. There are photos, videos, and links galore. You might want to include a link to this site on your class web page, or if you prefer to control the amount of information that you want students to have before actually reading the book, then bookmark it in your favorites and dole out the information at your discretion.

If looking for a different instructional method, share one of the slide shows on a projector or interactive whiteboard as you introduce a unit or allow students to use portions of the slide shows as part of their own presentations on a specific author or book on the bestsellers list.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Shake, Rattle, and Slide - University of Illinois Extension

Grades
3 to 9
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This interactive site focuses on showing and telling students about volcanoes, earthquakes, and glaciers. The text information is also available as audio; many fun activities reinforce...more
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This interactive site focuses on showing and telling students about volcanoes, earthquakes, and glaciers. The text information is also available as audio; many fun activities reinforce the information given on the introductory sites. Because of the dual presentation (oral and written), the site is easy for ESL/ELL students to use as well. One especially interesting activity involves showing students the history of the geologic earth and asks them to imagine squeezing all the earth's history into one day.

tag(s): earth (231), earthquakes (50), glaciers (16), plate tectonics (25), volcanoes (65), weather (198)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on geology and/or natural disasters on a projector or interactive whiteboard. When a disaster is in the news, use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects in response to their curiosity about the news event. Have ESL/ELL students use this to introduce other students to some possible disasters that occur in their parts of the world. Another option would be to divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them create presentations on different parts of the information found in the site and its activities. Use the information they find as a jumping off place for doing further research on areas that interest them.To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Memorize.com - Memorize.com

Grades
1 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Sometimes you just need to memorize certain facts and Memorize.com provides the easy to use resources to get the job done. The format of this site is simple and easily ...more
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Sometimes you just need to memorize certain facts and Memorize.com provides the easy to use resources to get the job done. The format of this site is simple and easily accessible to all. Choose pre-made flash cards or create your own. If you choose to create your own, you can create an account or let the system create one for you. Options to switch between flashcard, multiple choice, and matching formats are provided. Diagrams and explanatory text can also be included with your choices.

tag(s): flash cards (47)

In the Classroom

Join the site or let them create an account for you -- but be sure you remember that username, etc. so you can access it again! (email required). Read through the various options or use their "wizards" to create materials.

Create materials for review and practice with basic information, terms, and more. Students can collect and save rows or information they missed to aid with their learning. Ask your students to create their own flashcards or memory set to review before a test or quiz. Have students make practice materials for each other, as well. Learning support teachers will find their students enjoy reviewing more if they are creating something themselves, and the process of MAKING the cards is actually a review in itself.

Share this link on your website for parents to review with their student. This format is very flexible and can be used to create materials for everything from math to Social Studies.

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Dr Grammar - University of Northern Iowa (James HiDuke and Tom Peterson)

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Dr. Grammar Rx provides writers of various abilities with guidance on grammar, formatting, word origin and much more. Although this site is rather "plain vanilla" it is very useful....more
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Dr. Grammar Rx provides writers of various abilities with guidance on grammar, formatting, word origin and much more. Although this site is rather "plain vanilla" it is very useful. This extremely large writing resource details common writing errors and links to other sites for topics like style, formatting, ESL/ELL issues, etc...

tag(s): grammar (214), plagiarism (36), punctuation (43), verbs (41)

In the Classroom

Have students struggling with citations? Clauses, commas, capitalization posing problems? Send them to Dr. Grammar! Teachers can refer to Dr. Grammar using a projector or interactive whiteboard for in class use and demonstration or can encourage independent student use during composition. Have pairs of students research a specific area of this site and create an electronic "poster" or word graphic using tools such as Piclits (reviewed here) or Typogenerator (reviewed here). This is also a great addition to a teacher website, wiki, or blog for students to use both in and out of class. Be sure to save this site on your computer's favorites.

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Visual Thesaurus Vocab Grabber - Thinkmap,Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
The Visual Thesaurus VocabGrabber is a captivating interactive resource which can be used from elementary school to the college level for improving vocabulary in the context of your...more
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The Visual Thesaurus VocabGrabber is a captivating interactive resource which can be used from elementary school to the college level for improving vocabulary in the context of your selected content. The on line VocabGrabber tool quickly extracts vocabulary from a text within seconds to help teachers and students generate a list of the key vocabulary and see how those words are used in context. Additionally, by clicking on a word, the part of speech is revealed and students can listen to the correct pronunciation. The format is easy to use: simply copy text from any document or online source, (such as passages of literature found on the Gutenberg Project free website), paste the copied text into the box, and click the Grab Vocabulary button! In just seconds, an interactive concept map of vocabulary words and phrases appears. Can't find an online version of the text? No worries...type the text directly into the text box and voila! The words are "grabbed" or organized in comparison to the frequency of these words in standard written English. VocabGrabber can be used with any type of text: a newspaper article, a book chapter, a speech, or a historical document.

There are additional features if you choose to subscribe, particularly the Visual Thesaurus interactive word maps, which can be saved and printed, and an online edition in multiple languages for English-speaking students learning other languages and ESL/ELL students.

Caution! Before purchasing a subscription, see if the free portion of the website satisfies your needs or take advantage of the 14-day risk-free trial to see all the features in action. When a school subscription is purchased, student workbooks and Teachers' Guide with lesson plans are included.

tag(s): maps (293), reading comprehension (119), synonyms (38), vocabulary (325), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Teachers and students can use the VocabGrabber on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or individual computers to highlight vocabulary specific to a literary work or curricular subject area, to improve reading comprehension by choosing key concepts and literary terms, and to build background knowledge for a given text. As an added benefit, have students click on the VocabGrabber when typing their own assignments such as a poem or an essay, to avoid repeating the same word. They simply type in a word and generate a list of synonyms and more descriptive words. VocabGrabber enables students to see how words are used in context, instead of memorizing word lists. Additionally, VocabGrabber is extremely helpful for students preparing for standardized tests. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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LearnEnglish Kids - British Council

Grades
3 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Here you will find a plethora of ESL, ELL and English language activities, each of which in turn has a plethora of its own activities! For example, the short story ...more
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Here you will find a plethora of ESL, ELL and English language activities, each of which in turn has a plethora of its own activities! For example, the short story about the magic carpet ride is like a picture book with animated characters, is interactive, and the story is read out loud. There are activities to print to go with the story, there are online interactive activities, and, even before the story begins, there is an interactive picture/word matching activity. Last, at the end of the story, is a short writing prompt. Wow! That was just one short story!

The categories on the site include "Play a game," "Print some activities to do," "Listen to a song," "Read a story," "Practice your writing," and "Find lots more activities." AND, each one of these categories is multi-leveled.

tag(s): songs (53), writing (367)

In the Classroom

This extensive site will make the life of the ESL, ELL, or remedial reading teacher so much easier! Though intended for ESL/ELL teachers, this site can be used by any teacher who is teaching elementary reading and writing. It would also be good for remedial readers. In some parts, i.e. the interactives, you may want to pair up a proficient reader with the ESL/ELL student or remedial reader. The reading of the stories could be done with a projector or interactive whiteboard for a small group or the whole class, and then small groups of students could brainstorm the writing prompts at the end on an interactive white board. Share some of the activities with parents, as well, for at home practice with ESL/ELL students and their family members. Be sure to include this link on your class website.

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