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Remember The Milk - Remember the Milk.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Your busy life needs a manager. Now you have one: RememberTheMilk.com (also known as RTM). Don't worry about missing a date; any or all of these applications or programs will ...more
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Your busy life needs a manager. Now you have one: RememberTheMilk.com (also known as RTM). Don't worry about missing a date; any or all of these applications or programs will remind you: email, SMS, and instant messenger (AIM, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Skype and Yahoo) are all supported. Set up a free account in minutes. Secondary students will embrace this tool to remind them of tests or assignments or sporting events. List making has made it to a whole new level.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), organizational skills (122), time (144)

In the Classroom

Read the Blog at this site to learn many cool ways to interact with your personal computer an devices using RTM. Learning support teachers and teachers of disorganized gifted students may want to "model" using such an online tool to help middle and high school students learn better personal organization. Make a demo account for a "mythical" student and organize him/her together so students can see how it works. You will have to check school policies and access to some of the messaging tools, however, since some may be prohibited in your school. Learning support and gifted teachers will welcome this online tool as an engaging way for students to become better-organized. Give students a tech tool, and they just might try it!

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Scribble States - Armor Games Inc.

Grades
3 to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
At this site, students learn about each of the 50 states. They connect dots to create the outline of a state. Students can choose from an assorted number of "exam" ...more
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At this site, students learn about each of the 50 states. They connect dots to create the outline of a state. Students can choose from an assorted number of "exam" questions; they can also choose whether to have questions on the name of the state, its capital, or its state name. The speed of the questions varies also. Students receive a score on the accuracy of their drawing with the mouse and the answer to the question about the state.

This site does have some minor advertisements. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): capitals (24), drawing (78), states (163)

In the Classroom

Use this activity as practice with states state capitals, or state shapes. Your visual and kinesthetic learners will benefit from this different approach. This site is accessible to ESL and ELL students; provide them with a map of the states and they can use this activity to familiarize themselves with state names, pronunciation, shape, location, etc.

This site is "interactive whiteboard ready." Try the activity as a class challenge (at the beginning of social studies class). Have students take turns "drawing" the state, and then use the "quiz" questions a class (or team) activity. Once students are familiar with this site, allow them to explore on their own. Have students create their own dot to dot state papers and quizzes to share with the class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Listen and Write - listenandwrite.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Listen and Write is a listening/dictation site that allows ESL and ELL students to click on their choice of oral transmissions and then write the words they hear in ...more
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Listen and Write is a listening/dictation site that allows ESL and ELL students to click on their choice of oral transmissions and then write the words they hear in a box. Clicking the play button will repeat the sentence. There are also choices for hints or a version that provides a separate text box for each word, helping listeners to distinguish and separate the words they hear. When students write the correct sentence, a red "good" appears at the end of the line. Students can submit their own oral recordings as part of the bank of recorded items. Many of the items they can do dictation to come from VOA news. Students can also select other languages for dictation: Korean, Basque, Estonian, and Hebrew. Dictations are available at a total of 16 levels. Students must sign in and establish an account in order to save their scores, share and save audios, and collaborate with others on dictations or audio recordings.

tag(s): spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Check school policies about establishing a "class" log in with an official email address instead of having the students use their own. 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.

Refer students to improve their oral comprehension or applied spelling skills at this site. Teacers can also create or assign recordings for required listening and dictation, differentiating for each student's level. There are some French recordings that could be used in a world language class, as well. Why not have your students create their own recordings to challenge their classmates?

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In Town - Linguascope.com

Grades
2 to 8
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CLICK IMMEDIATELY on "Free Preview" for the only free portion of this site. This humorous preview section of a larger, paying, site has beginning level vocabulary. Students pick which...more
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CLICK IMMEDIATELY on "Free Preview" for the only free portion of this site. This humorous preview section of a larger, paying, site has beginning level vocabulary. Students pick which activity they want to try after listening and seeing the basic vocabulary. Activities include dictation, writing vocabulary words in response to the pictures, hangman, matching, etc. Teachers or students are able to print some of the activities. This site also include beginner Spanish, French, Italian, and German - all perfect for beginning level world language classes. This site is also useful for ESL and ELL students. Click for a complete, 8-page list of all the vocabulary covered. Unit tests are also provided. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): french (88), german (64), italian (33), pronunciation (44), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Send your Spanish, French, German, and Italian beginning level students to this site for review and practice. ESL and ELL students will benefit from the practice. Be sure to list this site in your class newsletter or 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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YAKiToMe - YAKiToMe

Grades
1 to 12
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This site converts text to speech. Students or teachers can choose which voice they'd like to hear read the text. As they listen to the oral version of whatever they've ...more
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This site converts text to speech. Students or teachers can choose which voice they'd like to hear read the text. As they listen to the oral version of whatever they've pasted into the box, keywords for the text appear in a box below the play button. Select to keep your new oral files private or make them public, using the podcast library option. Download files to an MP3 player or wav file. Students can also convert and listen to files in Spanish, French, and German, all with a variety of readers. Registration for the service is simple and free. A useful option for ESL and ELL students is the ability to control the speed of the speech being read.

This site requires registration (with an email address and user name). The registration page says that the site is available "by invitation only," however our reviewers found that we were able to register. This site requires Windows Media Player. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

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

In the Classroom

Use this site to tape read-alongs for reluctant readers, ESL, or ELL students. This site is especially useful for ESL, ELL, speech, world language, and special education classrooms. Have your students use initials or assign logical pseudonyms (Ex. MsGper2-12, MsGper2-13, etc.) for their user names. Keep your own record of their user names and passwords for accountability in case there are any problems. Make this site available on classroom computers with ear phones for any time students want to hear something read.

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TeacherTube - Teacher Tube, LLC

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Move over YouTube! Teachers now have their own place to learn and to teach: TeacherTube.com. Since this site is designed specifically for education, there is not as much concern about...more
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Move over YouTube! Teachers now have their own place to learn and to teach: TeacherTube.com. Since this site is designed specifically for education, there is not as much concern about "public" contributions and appropriateness for school! Teachers will find videos suitable for classroom instruction, such as Ben Franklin chatting with a group of students, or there are also professional videos ideal for staff training (such as Classroom Strategies for Differentiated Instruction). Search and view videos or click on the subject area that interests you, and then click on a video to view. To leave comments, save your favorites, or upload your own video, you will need to register. It's all free. Obviously, this isn't a site for students; however, there are many educational videos suitable for all subject areas that you could share with your students. If your school blocks streaming video sites, consider accessing this site and choosing videos at home, using a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube to bring them in for class use.

tag(s): video (253)

In the Classroom

If you are looking for a specific topic, save time and use the search option If you wish to add comments or upload your own Teachertube video, you must register as a user at the site. Create and save your edited videos where you can find them on your computer. (Windows Movie Maker or iMovie are great, free tools for video). Then upload to TeacherTube. You will also receive comments on your uploaded videos. If the teacher is the one uploading, the only potential concerns include posting videos with identifiable information or images about your students, school, or class. Check your school policies about posting pictures of your school. If you post student videos, obtain written parent permission to post student work, again within school policies. Any student visible in a video should also have parent permission in accordance with school policies. The most common classroom use would be viewing many videos that match curriculum content. Rap math, visit Anne Frank's historical locations, or view a grammar lesson--these are just a sampling of videos that you may want to use to enhance your curriculum lessons. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share the videos with the class. Use the site's videos as an anticipatory set to a new unit or lesson on a specific topic. Have your students create their own TeacherTube video together as a class on any lesson/topic that you are teaching. Have a contest for the best videos and upload the winners to the site (within school policies, of course). Once the class has videos hosted at TeacherTube, you can also embed them in your class bog or wiki for easy sharing with those in your extended online "community."

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Style and Diction Checker - Edit Central

Grades
1 to 12
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This is a simple, user-friendly, interactive web page for checking writing samples and readability levels. Type, or cut and paste, text into a specified location and watch the analysis...more
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This is a simple, user-friendly, interactive web page for checking writing samples and readability levels. Type, or cut and paste, text into a specified location and watch the analysis begin. The analysis consists of several readability scores such as Flesch reading ease, Automated readability index, Flesch-Kincaid grade level, Coleman-Liau index, Gunning fog index, and SMOG index. The site also provides total counts for the following items: characters, non-space characters, letters/numbers, words, complex words, syllables, sentences, characters per word, syllables per word, and words per sentence.

tag(s): readability (8)

In the Classroom

This site can be helpful in a variety of ways. Primary and secondary classroom teachers can check students' work or have students check their personal work by placing their own text in the box. Reading specialists, classroom teachers, ESL and ELL teachers, and special education teachers can check readability levels of various books to find the right fit for each student. E-books and on-line literature is easy to check with the cut and paste option! Note: if the text is available as a complete web page, you can also use this tool. Student word processing can also be analyzed using the Grammar tools in Word (tools menu), but these two tools yield slightly different information.

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MeGlobe - Telestic, Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
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IM or AIM on steroids? That is how MeGlobe describes itself. This site allows the user to instant message to people who speak many different languages. While they may be ...more
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IM or AIM on steroids? That is how MeGlobe describes itself. This site allows the user to instant message to people who speak many different languages. While they may be adding languages as the site builds, at the time of this review, Spanish, Dutch, Chinese, German and Greek are supported. This is a BETA site, so forgive a few wording problems as it refines the languages. Sign-up is quick and free. Once registered, you can invite people from all over the world to chat with you in nearly instant response time. The world definitely comes to your classroom via MeGlobe.

tag(s): chat (51), chinese (48), german (64), greek (41), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Classroom applications abound. Imagine your class chatting with pen pals in Crete or Amsterdam, and asking them current events questions. Imagine practicing foreign language skills using this tool. Send messages to experts in other countries as your class researches their culture. Travel around the world virtually, through discussions with other classrooms in foreign countries. Use two laptops and you and your ESL or ELL student can chat while learning each other's language, since all translations are on screen. Caution: As with all instant messaging, you would want to only talk with pre-approved people. This is not a program you would want your students to use unsupervised. There are forums, a blog, and chats already set up (look in your "room drawer" after you log in). Preview these to select the best venue for your class' purposes. Since the site requires a membership, you will most likely want to use a single class account so you can monitor how it is being used and avoid inappropriate contacts. If you do use student accounts, check your school policies on using student email to register and make sure classroom use is within approved school policy. This beta is constantly adding new features. Check the blog for the latest.

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Wordle - Jonathan Feinberg

Grades
2 to 12
17 Favorites 1  Comments
 
This site takes any quotation or poem and creates a "word cloud" (graphical display) of the words in a passage of text. Paste in any passage or the URL for ...more
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This site takes any quotation or poem and creates a "word cloud" (graphical display) of the words in a passage of text. Paste in any passage or the URL for any blog entry or web page (including newspapers online) to create a wordle of the text. If you make a Wordle, you can choose your own colors, type of display, and font. The most frequent words appear larger and darker. Students can view creations others have made or make their own with or without saving them to the database of clouds. You can also print creations, open them in a window without borders, or link to them from a home page (html code is provided for the link). This site requires Java. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page. However, this site is now a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), speech (92), vocabulary (324), word choice (26), word clouds (10)

In the Classroom

You need to know how to copy/paste. No email registration needed to create. Click Create to get started. Copy/paste text, type into a text box, or paste in the URL of the page you wish to "cloud." Play with options under Layout, Color, and Font menus to change the look. When done, choose to Print, take a screen shot of it in New Window view (PrntScrn on Windows, Command+shift+4 on Mac) or save to public gallery. Once it opens in the gallery view, be sure to copy the URL and keep a record of the exact URL of wordles you save to the Gallery. You will never be able to find them again without it! Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have.

The public can enter text and create their own Wordles, some of which appear on the home page for "recent" Wordles. Teachers should preview the Gallery and home page immediately before sharing this site with a class. TeachersFirst's review team has not witnessed any objectionable examples. In today's world, a brief lesson or honest discussion on ignoring, clicking out of, or avoiding the inappropriate on the web might be worthwhile, depending on the age and maturity of your students.

This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. 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 wordles 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 text, 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.

Another idea: use this site during the first week of school. Have students create "Wordles" about themselves and create a "Wordle" bulletin board introducing your students (and yourself). Or use Worlde for a whole-class positive statement as shown in this example. Remember that the most frequently appearing words will appear larger so plan accordingly.

Comments

So versatile and easy to use. Needs supervision because of what some people post in the galleries. Kids find it very easy to use. Nice for quick analysis of text (love to use with Shakespeare). Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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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 (324)

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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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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Seussville - Random House

Grades
K to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
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
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Spoken English - Active Audiences

Grades
5 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Adolescent Literacy - adlit.org

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
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 (126), reading strategies (44)

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

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Better At English - betteratenglish.com

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
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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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 (126)

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.
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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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