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The WriteSite - ThinkTVNetwork

Grades
6 to 10
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Are you looking for a site to teach kids about journalism? This is the one for you. Developed by a company in Dayton, OH, this site includes information on features, ...more
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Are you looking for a site to teach kids about journalism? This is the one for you. Developed by a company in Dayton, OH, this site includes information on features, style, research, the newsstand, and a classroom challenge with other classes. There is a section for teachers to look at ideas, but mostly this is an interactive site that allows students to create news stories, walking them through the basics in a lively way. It includes the history of news in the USA and career opportunities in journalism for writing-minded students or those who want to be a photographer or a cameraman (yes, the site includes TV news!). Overall, a wealthy site for those who teach journalism or writing in general.

tag(s): journalism (46), news (261)

In the Classroom

Depending on the level of your class, you can have students create a classroom or school newspaper or a TV news program. Younger studentscould concentrate on school news while older students can start mixing in more local, state, and national news. Posting them on the web would be inspirational to all students as well as a firm pat on the back for those who did the work. It might even develop into an ongoing project. A wiki would be a great tool for this! Take advantage, too, of the opportunity to do the Classroom Challenge with other students in the country.

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NIE Custom Classroom lesson Plans - NIE Online

Grades
9 to 12
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These are lesson plans geared to provoke discussion and provide activity for students using current events. Clicking on any of the newspapers listed will take you to "Newspaper Activities...more
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These are lesson plans geared to provoke discussion and provide activity for students using current events. Clicking on any of the newspapers listed will take you to "Newspaper Activities for Teaching." In the right-hand column, click on "Go to lessons for grades 9-12" to find 5 activities for the week using the newspaper as a catalyst. You can print them out using the "printer friendly" format offered. Substitutes stranded without plans will love the readily-available lesson plans that are always timely and worthwhile.

tag(s): blogs (88), journalism (46), news (261), substitutes (21)

In the Classroom

The actual lesson plans can easily be varied to suit your needs for online sleuthing and discussion on contemporary issues. Remedial reading and ESL/ELL teachers will find these lessons helpful in providing non-fiction reading practice, as well. One of the extras on this site is the ability to go back for a year for more ideas. Using different media websites such as CNN News, MSNBC, ABC, Fox News, NY Times, etc. will keep students working and interested in the world around them. Try assigning students to different types of articles, i.e., a news story, an editorial agreeing with and one disagreeing with it, a cartoon about it, etc. Use this site as instant "blog fodder" to get students writing and interacting with the real world.

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Timeless Ideas for Teaching - Concord Monitor Publishing

Grades
6 to 12
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Posted by the New Hampshire Concord Monitor Newspaper in the Classroom program, this website offers many interactive ideas that students can use either with a physical newspaper...more
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Posted by the New Hampshire Concord Monitor Newspaper in the Classroom program, this website offers many interactive ideas that students can use either with a physical newspaper in front of them, with an online news service such as CNN, or with online editions of newspapers that you find here. The examples used all refer to the New Hampshire newspaper, but are easily adaptable to whatever topic you want the students to deal with. This site includes such varied activities as creating a database and writing recipes. It covers every section of a newspaper. Students could create their own classroom newspaper using some of these activities or simply create journalistic articles based on whatever topic you are currently teaching. This is adaptable to almost any grade level and subject area.

tag(s): local history (13), news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Whether you use hard-copy papers or electronic editions, many of these ideas will work even better using technology: word processing, wikis, blogs (for editorials), graphic organizer tools, digital cameras, etc. Use today's tools to study this powerful medium as it goes through transition into an electronic world. Consider asking students to compare electronic vs. hard-copy newspapers and their pros/cons, as well.

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Inspiration Lane - Susan Alyn

Grades
4 to 12
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This dynamic site offers a blog-style newspaper for ESL/ELL students and could also be used in other academic areas. The daily entries follow the same basic format: "Quote of the ...more
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This dynamic site offers a blog-style newspaper for ESL/ELL students and could also be used in other academic areas. The daily entries follow the same basic format: "Quote of the Day," "This Day in History," "Article of the Day," "Comic Creators," "Cooking State," "Match Up," "Museum Town," and "Caption Central." All change daily! "Today's English Lesson" changes on weekdays. Like a newspaper, teachers and students can read a single feature or the entire sheet. Interspersed with the information are grammar reminders and practical applications. For foreign language students and beginning language learners, there is an option to translate the page into Korean, French, German, Italian, Portuguese,Spanish, Japanese, simplified Chinese and even Arabic!

tag(s): cooking (34), news (261), pronunciation (44), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Project this on your whiteboard at the start of your lesson as students enter or to wrap up the final five minutes with interesting clips from history, quotes, ESL in music etc. Encourage your students to try a new vocabulary word each day on their own. If your students have Internet access outside of class (even in study hall), require a weekly current events response for writing practice--perhaps on a class blog?
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Big Dog's Grammar - Scott Foll

Grades
6 to 12
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The beauty of this website is its wide grade range usage. It offers simple topics, such as subjects and verbs, but also offers misplaced modifiers, consistency, and MLA guides. Click...more
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The beauty of this website is its wide grade range usage. It offers simple topics, such as subjects and verbs, but also offers misplaced modifiers, consistency, and MLA guides. Click on any of the categories and the page walks a student through very simple explanations of the structure. It then offers students self-tests, which they can take immediately to see if they understand. It provides instant feedback with each question, so students are guided before making too many mistakes. A caution: students must type the words correctly since misspellings read as wrong answers to the computer!

tag(s): grammar (216), parts of speech (68), sentences (52), speech (92), writing (359)

In the Classroom

This is a great site for students to use independently on their own particular grammar weaknesses. Create a diagnostic grammar test based upon the items offered at the site; then allow students to practice their weak spots online. This also offers a great homework practice site, particularly for students working on MLA research who need a quick refresher in easy (but tricky!) punctuation reminders. The language is accessible, includes some humor, and is never condescending.

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Aaron Shephard's RT (Reader's Theater) Page - Aaron Shephard

Grades
3 to 12
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This page provides lots of info and resources for using reader's theater in conjunction with plays, manuscripts, and folktales. Besides displaying Shephard's books for sale, click on...more
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This page provides lots of info and resources for using reader's theater in conjunction with plays, manuscripts, and folktales. Besides displaying Shephard's books for sale, click on Aaron's Extras to find scripts for plays and tales you can use in the classroom. Other offerings include worksheets, examples of scripting sheets you can use or learn to do it yourself, tips for using RT, and links to other references. You can search among the many materials available by genre, country, historical period, theme, etc.

tag(s): plays (37), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Use this website to find hints on how to dramatize the literature or folklore you're studying in the classroom. ESL students will find using Reader's Theater particularly helpful as they can read, speak, and listen to the materials and have more chances at comprehension. Similarly, students who are visual or oral learners will benefit from the multi-sensory presentations.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Writers' Workshop - Northern Illinois University

Grades
6 to 12
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This website is a valuable professional source. It is posted through the Northern Illinois University as a source for their instructors, tutors, and students, but gives great information...more
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This website is a valuable professional source. It is posted through the Northern Illinois University as a source for their instructors, tutors, and students, but gives great information and guidance on helping students become the best writers they can be, including MLA formatting of papers. The student section includes sections on editors' marks, quoting, and plagiarism (including interactive quizzes for each), while the instructor section includes a lesson exchange and computer lab ideas.

tag(s): writing (359)

In the Classroom

While this is mostly a teacher resource, it could be used for a class lesson on certain areas of writing, particularly for high school students. It will give you ideas to use on laptops or in a writing lab as well as offer an interactive quiz when you finish teaching certain writing skills. The comma splice/sentence combining activity would make a great starting point for student editing. Then have students create an animated multimedia illustration of an example to show how to correct a common "Issue in Sentence Management" (humor welcome).

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HistoryBuff.com - R. J. Brown

Grades
5 to 12
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This is a fascinating website begun by a man who was fascinated by first-person accounts of history. It is a newspaper-based site and offers something unique to the visitor. There ...more
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This is a fascinating website begun by a man who was fascinated by first-person accounts of history. It is a newspaper-based site and offers something unique to the visitor. There are such diverse things as the "Nameplate Hall of Fame," featuring interesting newspaper titles and primary source material for those who are doing serious research or who are just interested in the perspective of the time. Panoramas, which show pictures of a variety of historical characters and their backgrounds as well as interactive quizzes will get students enthused about the reality of history. The transcripts from actual newspapers on Jack the Ripper, Bonnie and Clyde, and the Louisiana Purchase were particularly fascinating. Note: the interactive newspaper archive requires Flash.

tag(s): news (261), newspapers (94), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

This is a great site for sparking the imagination! Share a shot of a newspaper on a projector as an anticipatory set to a history lesson. SHOW the parts of a newspaper when you study this and have students annotated them on your interactive whiteboard. Opportunities for writing prompts also abound. After reading through some of the transcripts, students can post their own responses or letters to the editor as a blog. They can make their own podcasts after listening to some of the speeches or they can make their own newspapers after searching through some of the interesting nameplates and articles about actual historical events. The sky's the limit after perusing this innovative and complete site.

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Smart Girl - NSF & UMich

Grades
7 to 12
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This site values bright young women by offering features on things that interest them: surveys, creativity, feelings, writing, horoscopes, dreams, sports, college, etc. Older girls...more
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This site values bright young women by offering features on things that interest them: surveys, creativity, feelings, writing, horoscopes, dreams, sports, college, etc. Older girls will gain confidence as they find their voices and read those of others. Mentor journals of college-age "Smart Girls" share their college experiences. The site is run by NSF and University of Michigan and provides a very positive tone. They monitor content. Links are available to outside sites on a wide variety of topics.

tag(s): organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Counselors, writing teachers, and even those working with young women in emotional support classes will want to encourage your female students to submit creative writing, write surveys, learn to do websites, and write reviews of their favorite media productions. If you have students who want to know more about college life (in a positive way), share this link with them to learn about the college experience, time management , and more from the mentor journals.

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Common Craft - Common Craft Productions

Grades
K to 12
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This is a TeachersFirst Edge Entry for ANYONE who wants to know more about new technologies. No special skills needed. Watch and learn. If you are embarrassed to say that ...more
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This is a TeachersFirst Edge Entry for ANYONE who wants to know more about new technologies. No special skills needed. Watch and learn. If you are embarrassed to say that you don't know what all the "new web 2.0" terms are all about, this one is for you (and probably for your students' parents, as well). Common Craft uses a very simple, visual method of explaining all the latest technologies so that anyone can understand, using short video clips narrated by a positive and respectful voice. The next time you hear someone talking about RSS feeds or some other new doo-dad, stop here first so you will know what they are talking about. Did you think you were the only one who did not know? Fear not. This site has incredible popularity because there are LOADS of people quietly questioning -- just like you. To view the video clips FREE, click on "Video Library" and the topic that you wish to view. Despite a paid membership model, Common Craft still offers the videos for free, but it does have a watermark saying, "For evaluation only." If you wish to share this with a group, they will need to view it on individual/partner computers (or IOS devices) or on a projector that has a zoom function to enlarge a selected area of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (88), bookmarks (60), social networking (112), video (254), wikis (19)

In the Classroom

Start by looking at "Most Viewed" and "Most Popular Right Now," but don't be afraid to search for other topics that have you wondering. You will definitely want to make this site a Favorite and tag is as "professional" information to keep you informed. Share it on your teacher web page to help out your parents, too!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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BBC-GCSE Bitesize English - The BBC

Grades
8 to 12
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This great, interactive site was actually developed to assist students in the UK prepare for exams in that country. However, it is a fantastic site for any teacher anywhere who ...more
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This great, interactive site was actually developed to assist students in the UK prepare for exams in that country. However, it is a fantastic site for any teacher anywhere who teaches writing. It addresses writing to persuade, inform, advise, or explain. It offers a variety of methods usuable by students independently or in a class. It offers interactive tests, mock exams, and audio recordings on each topic -- available as mp3, RealAudio, or downloadable pdf acripts. A wonderful addition is a set of audio recordings of poetry critiques (good models for poetry podcasts your students could create). One language note: to "revise" material in the UK is the same as to "review" it in the U.S. One "revises" before a test.

tag(s): poetry (228), process writing (42), writing (359)

In the Classroom

This is a gold mine to delve into again and again for both students and teachers. It offers simple techniques for remembering what's important such as GAP (genre, audience, purpose) and allows individuality for student needs. One idea might be to assign a different genre of essay (inform, describe, explain, advise, etc.) to different students in the same class. Using the tools on the site to improve their writing, students could then share their finished products with the rest of the class, explaining their methods and revision techniques. ESL students and poor reasders will benefit from the audio recordings. Be sure to make this site available from your teacher web pages as a reference, as well.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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WritingFix's Great Sentence - WritingFix and the Northern Nevada Writing Project.

Grades
9 to 12
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For high school students, the excuse is sometimes, "I don't know what to write about." This site offers specific story starters from verbs and superlatives to multiple prepositional...more
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For high school students, the excuse is sometimes, "I don't know what to write about." This site offers specific story starters from verbs and superlatives to multiple prepositional phrases. Students can choose from multiple phrases to jog their creative minds and start a story.

tag(s): writing (359)

In the Classroom

This is great as an anticipatory set for kids in a writing lab or student blog. Get them to choose their favorites, then mix them up to create their own madlibs or be inspired with a silly or serious story.

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Blast Writing - BBC

Grades
8 to 12
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If you want students to interact with students around the world in writing, this is a marvelous site to begin. While it does have message boards that may be banned ...more
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If you want students to interact with students around the world in writing, this is a marvelous site to begin. While it does have message boards that may be banned by some school filtering, there is a wide variety of tools and tips that students can use to encourage writing, revise it, and even get it published.

tag(s): writing (359)

In the Classroom

The caution with this site is to monitor students. There are so many places to go, it might be easy to get sidetracked into the games or music section of Blast. However, there is plenty to do in the writing section to keep students busy and interested. There are "Blastcasts" and Digital Toolboxes for students to use in manipulating their own work as well as how to brainstorm, how to pitch ideas to yourself, and even an idea matrix for those pesky times when the muse just doesn't want to visit.

Share the site first on a projector or interactive whiteoard to spell out the do's and don'ts of what is permitted in your class and by your school's policies. If you allow students to submit work online, be sure that you have parent permission to do so and that no student is identifiable to outsiders.

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A+ Research & Writing Step-by-Step - Kathryn L. Schwartz

Grades
9 to 12
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Do you want to appeal to those students who are afraid of the whole research and writing process? How about those who just don't know how to pick a topic, ...more
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Do you want to appeal to those students who are afraid of the whole research and writing process? How about those who just don't know how to pick a topic, or narrow the focus? Are you dreading walking your students through the citation part? This site enables students to go through the process of writing a research paper from choosing a topic through writing the paper, revising, proofreading, and final submission. What makes this site appealing is the use of great graphics and the very simple, one-step-at-a-time approach that makes paper writing less daunting. Links take students to college-specific sites for interactive organizational tools such as mapping and outlining.

In the Classroom

This site helps you help your students and them students to work at their own pace through the pieces that are difficult for them. Use the entire site as a guide for you research process or select different pieces of this site as models when you teach research papers so students can practice right then and there "how to do it." Be sure to include the link on your teacher web page so parents can support students as they approach deadline-panic (and you know some will procrastinate, no matter what you do).

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Quizlet: The End of Flashcards - Brainflare: Andrew Sutherland

Grades
3 to 12
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This easy to understand web and mobile app tool allows you or your students to enter vocabulary terms and definitions to create electronic flashcards and quizzes to enhance word study...more
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This easy to understand web and mobile app tool allows you or your students to enter vocabulary terms and definitions to create electronic flashcards and quizzes to enhance word study in any language or a content area. Students may choose to create electronic tests, or the networking page allows them to interact and learn with other users who have the same words. Teacher or students can create groups to share word lists. See a sample matching activity about TeachersFirst created by our editors to show a variation on using this online tool for simple words/definitions. Use this tool from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. The iOS and Android apps practice tests can be multiple choice, true/false, or written questions. Turn on "Instant Feedback" (new feature for the apps) that will give real-time feedback on right/wrong answers as you go; or wait and get your score at the end. As wonderful as this technology is, the coolest thing about Quizlet might be in its history--its creator was a high school student who tells his inspiring story and shares his blog through links at this site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (200), quiz (85), spelling (168), vocabulary (324), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Membership asks for an email. Email allows you to notify others that you want to share a word list or activity with them. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here, this tells how to configure Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. This would provide anonymous interaction within your class. KEEP A LIST of students usernames (non-identifying) and passwords, incase they forget them! If you already use Google Classroom with your students, it only takes a few minutes to get them set up with a Quizlet Class.

There is a very thorough "Help Center" to get the idea of how the site works. Save your "sets" and decide whether you want them to be entirely public, just for you personally, or shared with a "group." Create your own groups for each class or subject. Be sure to note the fact that you can upload vocabulary lists by copy/pasting from various formats--- a time real saver! Use this tool easily in your byod classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have.

Content and English teachers may set up their personal network of users. Pretest your gifted students and allow them to "test out" of material they already know. Learning support teachers will want their students to create their own Quizlet sets and help learn them in the process! Teachers may create your own sets of words, or let students do the work for themselves and each other. Use the interactive whiteboard for quick flashcard or electronic testing using your sets. World language and ESL/ELL teachers will find many word sets already built and ready to use at this site. If you team teach with others at your grade level, take turns making the online Quizlets to accompany your science or social studies chapters. Be SURE to share this tool on your teacher web page for students to use at home.

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ToonDoo - Jambav

Grades
3 to 12
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Create your own one to three panel comic strips or --even better- have your students create them using this simple online tool. The libraries include many cartoon figures, voice bubbles,...more
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Create your own one to three panel comic strips or --even better- have your students create them using this simple online tool. The libraries include many cartoon figures, voice bubbles, and more. You can also upload your own photos using the Imaginr(or pieces from them) and create your own characters using the Traitr. For a longer story, make a TOONBOOK instead of a single TOONDOO strip. See a sample made by our techno-savvy editors in just a few minutes. The "published" products can be shared online with the world, shared with a limited audience (probably the safest for students), or kept completely private (visible only to you when logged in).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), digital storytelling (144), images (266)

In the Classroom

Play with the "Create Your Own" tools to make a TOONDOO or TOONBOOK, including locating characters, resizing, re-ordering, entering text, etc. IF you are feeling adventurous, try upload an image to include. When you are ready, publish the product, publicly by sharing the URL or to opt for a limited audience.

Potential safety concerns: If you are having students create their own TOONDOOS, you will want to prohibit their accessing the links to "popular" TOONDOOS and others available to the public, since the site is open for anyone's idea of "funny" content. Our editors did not see anything objectionable, but you never know.

How can you use this in the classroom? Once you have laid the ground rules, have students create strips with characters explaining a science concept. Or show the steps in a process or procedure, such as the water cycle. Older students can create political satire cartoons. If you have students work from your account, you can provide the "raw materials" of some digital pictures for them to make cartoon explanations of lab safety procedures or nature species. Even little ones can write sentences. Have them work with a partner---and LIMIT their choices to 3 character options so they do not keep changing their minds!

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Karin's ESL PartyLand - Karin M. Cintron

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Originally written for ESL students to practice language skills, these interactive quizzes are very useful for allowing all levels of students to test their skills online in a nonthreatening...more
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Originally written for ESL students to practice language skills, these interactive quizzes are very useful for allowing all levels of students to test their skills online in a nonthreatening way. These interactive quizzes seem to touch on all bases from business English to grammar to vocabulary (including idioms), making them great for either pretesting, practice or review. They also allow the teacher to individualize what students need from a variety of choices.

tag(s): grammar (216), quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Assign individual or mini-lesson practice on laptops or a computer cluster in your classroom after grading writing assignments or while studying grammar. Learning support and ESL teachers will also like the extra practice options to help students with grammar skills and idioms. Since there is no "scoring" function, you may want students to raise hands and SHOW you how they did as they complete activities.

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Teaching That Makes Sense - Steve Peha

Grades
4 to 10
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This is an exciting site for teachers because of the practical worksheets and ideas that absolutely fill it. It is geared to writing, particularly writing about what we read. While...more
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This is an exciting site for teachers because of the practical worksheets and ideas that absolutely fill it. It is geared to writing, particularly writing about what we read. While it may seem geared for intermediate and middle school students, it has a lot to offer to older students as well-- particularly ones who are not good writers and need more engaging, closer work to become better writers. In light of NCLB, this is a great site for working with slow or disabled older students or really just any students who need to become better communicators.

tag(s): writing (359)

In the Classroom

The PDF files that are downloadable from this site are great! It is divided into 6 sections that you can use to plan, or you can use portions directly with students in a lab or on laptops. Have students do different parts of the same projects, working from the templates provided. A great exercise for older students is to go through the writing samples and evaluate them as a class. Since there are multiple examples posted, it would be an excellent lesson to work with an interactive whiteboard. The ideas are limited only by your imagination!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Bulletin Board Hang Ups - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
16 Favorites 0  Comments
TeachersFirst provides this collection of printable quotations, ready for your classroom or bulletin board. Inspire, engage, or challenge your students to think with quotes from famous...more
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TeachersFirst provides this collection of printable quotations, ready for your classroom or bulletin board. Inspire, engage, or challenge your students to think with quotes from famous leaders, sports figures, thinkers, and writers. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): bulletin boards (16), quotations (23)

In the Classroom

They look great printed on brightly colored paper! As an opening day activity, challenge small groups of students to interpret the quote hanging closest to them and predict how it may be important in your course this year. For younger students, ask them to write a paraphrase or to illustrate the quote. Be sure to change the quotes periodically and give a prize to the first student who notices. Or give a pop-quiz during the last week of school, asking students to recall as many of the year's quotes as they can (working in small groups will probably help). If you have classroom blogs, ask students to choose and reflect on a specific quote and its relevance to your class throughout the past year.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Beacon Learning Center: Student Web Lessons - Beacon Learning Center

Grades
K to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
This website, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, provides an enormous collection of "web lessons" (interactives) for all grade levels. There are lessons in language...more
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This website, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, provides an enormous collection of "web lessons" (interactives) for all grade levels. There are lessons in language arts, math, science, social studies, and health. There are too many lesson plans to count - and all are projector, laptop, or whiteboard-ready. Just to give you an idea of some of these unique lessons, some of the titles include "Where is Japan?", "Walrus World", "Piece of Pie", "Medians", "Fence Me In", and "Critter Craze". On the main page, a brief description is provided for each lesson plan. Click Teacher Solutions > Lesson Plans to search by subject or grade level.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), evolution (100), expository writing (44), industrial revolution (25), native americans (78), primary sources (86), probability (130), symmetry (55), writing (359)

In the Classroom

If you want ready-to-go lessons guaranteed to work well on your interactive whiteboard, this collection is a winner. You simply open the activity on the whiteboard and have students tap and drag their way through as you talk with the class. (Invite your most "active" student to be "Vanna White" for a great behavior management solution). Many lessons would work well on laptops or on a computer cluster center, as well.

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