Vocabulary Development Resources from TeachersFirst

This collection of reviewed tools and resources from TeachersFirst promotes vocabulary development and skills for students to improve and master daily vocabulary, subject matter terms, speech/language vocabulary, and ESL/ELL language. Some are tools for study and practice of terms in any class--including world languages, while others focus specifically on written and spoken English. Be sure to check "In the classroom" for ways each resource might help in your teaching area. Share your favorites on a free TeachersFirst public page for students and parents to use for vocabulary practice outside of class.

 

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Story Wars - StoryWars.net

Grades
3 to 10
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Story Wars offers an online collaborative writing tool and experience. Choose from stories that have already been started and write the next chapter, or begin your own story and allow...more
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Story Wars offers an online collaborative writing tool and experience. Choose from stories that have already been started and write the next chapter, or begin your own story and allow others to write new chapters. Owners of each story approve additional chapters before inclusion in their story. Our editors suggest previewing the story before sharing with your class, since site (or adult) moderation is not mentioned. At the time of this review, our editors saw nothing inappropriate.

tag(s): creative writing (136), digital storytelling (86)

In the Classroom

Create your own class story starter then have students add on additional chapters. Ask each student to create a story and have other students add to their classmate's writing. Create a link to completed stories on classroom computers as a reading center for younger students. If your class has a penpal or works with a "little buddies" class throughout the year, use Story Wars as a fun writing project together. In science or social studies class, have students write nonfiction pieces for others to complete with historically or scientifically accurate information. Make recounting history or explaining science interactive and social! In world language class, promote written language and vocabulary development by creating cooperative stories. For English vocabulary development, have students use the words of the week in a new chapter of a continuing story.

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Super Power Speech - Caroline Bowen

Grades
1 to 5
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Join forces with Super Power Speech, a blog written by a speech pathologist, Caroline Bowen. Find professional speech pathology information such as Articulation Printables links,...more
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Join forces with Super Power Speech, a blog written by a speech pathologist, Caroline Bowen. Find professional speech pathology information such as Articulation Printables links, Social Skills, Language based speech therapy, many engaging blog entries, and links to helpful speech resources by clicking on Speech on the top menu bar. Explore resources for Assessment and Response to Intervention. Some material featured on the site goes to Teachers Pay Teachers, but some are free.
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tag(s): professional development (74), social skills (17), speech (88), vocabulary development (104)

In the Classroom

Whether you are a speech pathologist, social skills/autistic support teacher, or a classroom teacher, find extra resources here to help children with speech and language needs. Also read the discussions to help build social skills or even to improve literacy. Read through past blog entries. Brush up on the latest to be sure you are current! You may also find some specific ideas to share with these students' parents at conferences so you can work together in supporting their child. Primary grade regular ed teachers will find vocabulary development activities appropriate for any student, not just those who are identified.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Paste to Grid (Beta) - pastetogrid.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create custom photo collages with Paste to Grid. Choose one of the templates that include up to 9 images. Select your border color and size, or select "no border." Click ...more
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Create custom photo collages with Paste to Grid. Choose one of the templates that include up to 9 images. Select your border color and size, or select "no border." Click in each box to add an image from your computer. Lesson learned from our editor: Be sure to select border options before adding images; choosing them after causes the images to disappear. The site's authors state this feature will be improved in the next version. When complete, choose to save as PNG or JPG file to your computer.

tag(s): collages (16), images (221), vocabulary development (104)

In the Classroom

Create and share collages of classroom activities, field trips, and much more. In lower grades, create the collage together with your students. Embed collages into your class website or blog for viewing at home. Have students create collages using their own pictures of land formations, types of plants, colors, words beginning with the same letter of the alphabet, and whatever else you can think of! This is a great tool for your visual learners. Special ed, speech and language, or ESL/ELL teachers can create collages of images together with their students to promote vocabulary development. World language classes could create them on their own or use them as prompts for oral language practice. A collage could feature articles of clothing or types of weather, for example. Create cards as gifts for moms or dads or for thank you's to members of the school community. Print the cards, fold over, and handwrite messages inside. Practice simple thank you notes on your own creative cards. Older students can use this tool to to create collages they can then annotate using a tools such as ThingLink, reviewed here.

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Literacy CLL Games - Kent County Council

Grades
K to 2
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Literacy CLL Games offers a small but useful collection of literacy development games. Topics include phoneme practice, vocabulary development, and practice with high frequency words....more
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Literacy CLL Games offers a small but useful collection of literacy development games. Topics include phoneme practice, vocabulary development, and practice with high frequency words. There are interactive books and activities to explore. Hover your mouse over any activity icon to each interactive's purpose and a short description. Several games offer the option of offline play. Choose from the drop-down bar and open the zip file on your computer to play.

tag(s): alphabet (89), audio books (30), handwriting (17), nursery rhymes (19), phonics (71), preK (236), sounds (67), vocabulary development (104)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share some of the activities and complete them as a class. Set up a learning center for students to explore this site on their own. Be sure to provide this link on your class website for students (and parents) to practice at home. Don't forget to save this one in your favorites.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Games to Learn English - Owen Dwyer

Grades
K to 8
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Games to Learn English is a collection of games for ESL/ELL students or any student learning the basics of English and/or reading. Created for students of English language learners,...more
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Games to Learn English is a collection of games for ESL/ELL students or any student learning the basics of English and/or reading. Created for students of English language learners, the many activities focus on developing vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, word order, and spelling skills. Choose from interactives such as Fast Hands and Concentration to begin. Each activity includes directions for play and scoring explanations, and most have playing speed options.
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tag(s): preK (236), sentences (46), sequencing (32), spelling (163), vocabulary (308), vocabulary development (104)

In the Classroom

Although created for English language learners, this is an excellent site to develop vocabulary (and computer skills) for younger students. It also helps with speech/language vocabulary development and grammar reinforcement for special ed. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Complete the activities as a class with a student operating the board. Create a link on classroom computers and challenge students to increase their speed in completing games.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Pixabay - Pixabay

Grades
K to 12
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This is a wonderful site for finding quality images to use in projects. Use these images for either personal or professional projects. Registration is not necessary to download them....more
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This is a wonderful site for finding quality images to use in projects. Use these images for either personal or professional projects. Registration is not necessary to download them. All images are copyright free. Search images by name and filter by orientation (landscape or portrait) and image type (photo, clipart, or vector.) Be sure to use the filters at the top. Right click to download. Use good search terms to find the best pictures possible. You must know where to save images on your computer. Be sure to give credit to the person who took the picture and show their name wherever the image is used. Consider adding images to this site to increase the number of options and expand the ideas of Creative Commons. Adding images does require you to join the site (email required).

tag(s): creative commons (18), images (221), photography (136), search engines (58)

In the Classroom

Use in the classroom any time images are needed for projects, even if the project is not put on a website for others to see. Be sure students are aware that any time another person's image is used, they must give full credit for it, even if that owner cannot see it. Student groups can use Pixabay to collectively find the best image to use for a project. Challenge students to create personalized images (with text) using Pinwords reviewed here. Teachers can collect images for use on their interactive whiteboard for sorting activities (monocots and dicots, producers and consumers, etc). Use images as writing prompts or in poetry collections. Art teachers can find images for students to use as references or in photomontages (with credit). Elementary teachers can use images from this site as part of student-run interactive whiteboard activities, such as labeling parts of plants. Speech and language or ESL/ELL teachers can find images to use in vocabulary development activities. World language teachers can find cultural photos to use in oral exercises.

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Unused Words - Discover a New Word Every Day! - Unusedwords.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Unused Words is your guide to richer language and vocabulary development. Scroll through and find the latest additions. Each word includes the definition, pronunciation, word origin,...more
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Unused Words is your guide to richer language and vocabulary development. Scroll through and find the latest additions. Each word includes the definition, pronunciation, word origin, and example of how to use the word correctly. Search by different word types such as noun, adjective, adverb, or slang. One interesting portion of the site provides words that are OED rejected. These are words suggested for use in the Oxford English dictionary but rejected due to restrictions such as being local slang or words to describe a short-term phenomenon. Find this section among the menus. Be sure to preview whatever you plan to share since dictionary entries or slang are not always classroom appropriate. At the time of this review, all material was perfectly appropriate for the classroom.

tag(s): dictionaries (47), prefixes (15), root words (14), suffixes (12), vocabulary (308), vocabulary development (104), word study (60)

In the Classroom

This is a great site to use as a resource for a word of the day or word of the week. Choose a word and challenge students to create a word cloud of terms related to that particular word using a tool such as Wordle reviewed here. Share this site on your class website or blog for students to access at home for writing projects. Use these words as examples to decipher when studying word roots and affixes. As students prepare for the SAT, have them explore and attempt to figure out words based on roots, etc. Sign up to receive an email daily with new words. You can also "like" their Facebook or Twitter pages to receive updates.

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I will be visiting this site often as I want to increase my vocabulary to be a more proficient teacher. Mary, GA, Grades: 0 - 5

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Wikipedia Race - Wikipedia

Grades
6 to 12
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Concerned that Wikipedia doesn't encourage higher-level thinking or is just the lazy way out? Here is a novel use for Wikipedia that teaches intellectual flexibility and creativity,...more
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Concerned that Wikipedia doesn't encourage higher-level thinking or is just the lazy way out? Here is a novel use for Wikipedia that teaches intellectual flexibility and creativity, and it's a whole lot of fun! While the site does all the set up for you, Wikipedia races require only a couple of computers and the Internet. Here's how it works. Choose as the destination a topic or word that has its own Wikipedia page. Try things like "apple pie" or "quilts" or nearly anything. Each "racer" goes to the Wikipedia main page and chooses "random article," and this page becomes his or her start page. The object of the challenge is to get from the random start page to the destination page by clicking on the hyperlinks within Wikipedia pages. No searching, just clicking. To make it more challenging, make some of the most broadly aggregated pages (like "United States" for example) off limits. First racer to the destination page wins. An example? Imagine your random start page is the biography page of a NASCAR driver, and your destination is "flashlight." One possible pathway might go from driver to automobile to car battery, to C battery, to flashlight.

tag(s): creative fluency (9), creativity (94), trivia (15)

In the Classroom

Wikipedia Races reward thinking that is divergent and flexible. Rather than having to narrowly focus on one right answer, racers win when they can generate lots of different associations among disparate ideas or items. Use Wikipedia Races when you have a little time left at the end of the period. A single race will last only 3 to 5 minutes for older students. It can be an individual competition among two or more racers, or students can work in small teams with one student at the mouse taking suggestions from the team. Consider being strategic with your destination pages, choosing topics related to your unit lesson, so students will need to have a broad understanding of those topics. ESL/ELL teachers can use this as a vocabulary development activity.

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The Write-n-ator! - New Hampshire Public Television

Grades
2 to 5
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View video clips about words and vocabulary. After completing the clip, try a related writing challenge. Clips and challenges are all related to writing, word recognition, and vocabulary...more
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View video clips about words and vocabulary. After completing the clip, try a related writing challenge. Clips and challenges are all related to writing, word recognition, and vocabulary development and feature titles such as "Favorite Word" and "Mr. Big's Plan." Standards are included. Clips can be replayed as necessary. View other responses to each challenge with the link above the submission form.

tag(s): antonyms (26), grammar (211), grammar review (36), synonyms (38), vocabulary development (104)

In the Classroom

Offer these challenges to your class using a projector or interactive whiteboard. Watch the video clip and create a class response to add to the challenge. Alternately, each student can take the challenge in a writing journal. These videos and challenges make for a writing warm up. There are 20 video clips and challenges. To demonstrate what students have learned from the site, have students or student groups create an online, interactive poster known as a "glog," using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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New Math - Craig Damrauer

Grades
6 to 12
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Take a different look at math (and many other topics) through intriguing word equations! View a series of slides with many different equations such as secret = whisper - whisper ...more
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Take a different look at math (and many other topics) through intriguing word equations! View a series of slides with many different equations such as secret = whisper - whisper again, unicycle = bicycle + oddness, among many others. Some of the concepts relate to life, government, and current events, not "math." Slides can be viewed in several different ways: choose random to view a random slide from the selections, or change the view to scrolling to go down the catalog of slides offered. Each slide contains a link so you can share it in through Facebook, Twitter, email, and more. The SHARE button is on the bottom left side of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (94), logic (203), puzzles (183), vocabulary (308)

In the Classroom

Display a new slide on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) weekly as a conversation-starter in a math class, social studies class, or gifted classroom. Ask students to explain what the equation might mean. Challenge students to create their own new math word equations and share them using a talking avatar using a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced). Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here). Much of the vocabulary used with the equations is very advanced. Use this in English class for vocabulary development. Then challenge students to create some of their own "equations" with other new vocabulary words.

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Vocabulary.com - Vocabulary.com

Grades
7 to 12
1 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Vocabulary.com is an individualized vocabulary development program. Your students will select definitions for several vocabulary words. Based on their answers, the program will predict...more
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Vocabulary.com is an individualized vocabulary development program. Your students will select definitions for several vocabulary words. Based on their answers, the program will predict which vocabulary words they don't know and instruct them from there. You can also type in a word to learn the definition. With more than 40,000 questions to help your students learn new vocabulary, time will not be wasted here. The vocabulary is chosen based on words that need to be mastered for success in an academic or business environment. The program will analyze student achievement and review words that the students originally missed to make sure they are retaining the words. Vocabulary.com is for students from elementary school through graduate school. You can register with an email address or via your Facebook account. Note: as with any dictionary tool, there is content that is intended for more mature users, including matter of fact definitions of swear words. Teachers will want to manage this tool as any adult dictionary and have logical consequences for those who look up words so they can giggle, etc.

tag(s): vocabulary (308), vocabulary development (104), word study (60)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station for students who finish their work early. Be sure to mark the site on classroom computers, making it easier for students to navigate there. Or, if you have access to multiple classroom computers, you may want to start your language arts lessons with five to ten minutes of work on Vocabulary.com. Once students have learned this program they can be totally independent. This is one to list on your class website for students/parents to access at home for additional practice.

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david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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Presidents' Day - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 12
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for President's Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using President's...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for President's Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using President's Day related vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): vocabulary (308), vocabulary development (104)

In the Classroom

Have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have them create word games for interactive whiteboard, if you have one, such as matching or ranking activities that use these words. Have the groups share their words and definitions in an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon reviewed here. Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If you don't have the time to complete online books, have students share the definitions using a class wiki. Be sure to also check out the interactive word puzzles!

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Learning Chocolate - learningchocolate.com

Grades
K to 12
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This ESL/ELL vocabulary site has words and related pictures organized into over 100 categories. Example categories include animals, body, birds, Christmas, camping, phonic, days of...more
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This ESL/ELL vocabulary site has words and related pictures organized into over 100 categories. Example categories include animals, body, birds, Christmas, camping, phonic, days of the week, Europe, Fruit, and much more! Click on a category and you get common vocabulary as well as five review games for that category. Each word has sound, and many of the review activities are based on hearing the word to complete the required work. An added benefit to the site is that it is easy to switch the target language from English to three other languages: Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chinese (47), japan (61), japanese (42), spanish (98), vocabulary (308)

In the Classroom

Save/bookmark this site on your classroom computers to serve as a vocabulary resource for ESL/ELL and also world language students. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Share this site with Chinese, Japanese and Spanish teachers as well as with special needs professionals for help with vocabulary development and articulation. You could also have students create their own narrations of photos (similar to this site) using a site such as Narrable reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Parapal - Williams and Weetman

Grades
2 to 12
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This ESL/ELL site has many interactive exercises in the categories of picture dictionary, vocabulary enhancement exercises, e-mail and letter writing, general English, listening, business...more
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This ESL/ELL site has many interactive exercises in the categories of picture dictionary, vocabulary enhancement exercises, e-mail and letter writing, general English, listening, business English, and student activities. You will also find Cambridge exam prep (FCE and CAE). Options for ESL/ELL students include looking at the pages in German, Spanish, Hungarian and Korean. Many of the exercises are interactive, and include spelling practice, cloze exercises (mainly using prepositions and articles correctly), and fill in the blank. Since this site is British, it includes British spellings and test prep for tests usually taken in the U.K.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): grammar (211), parts of speech (64)

In the Classroom

You might want to put different categories from this program on different computers around your classroom. Have students, or pairs of students, rotate through the computers to experience spelling practice, vocabulary development, and a cloze reading exercise all in one period.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Groundhogs Day - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to Groundhog's Day on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using...more
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to Groundhog's Day on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using Groundhog's day related vocabulary words. There are printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): holidays (129), vocabulary (308), vocabulary development (104)

In the Classroom

Try these thematic puzzles as your vocabulary of the week in early February. Have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have the groups share their words and definitions in an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.) Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If you don't have the time to complete online books, have students share the definitions using a class wiki or create their own interactive whiteboard activities to challenge classmates to match words and definitions. Be sure to also check out the interactive word puzzles!

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VoiceThread - VoiceThread

Grades
K to 12
14 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own...more
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Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own comments and/or narration about the images/slides. Other listeners can "comment" back, as well. TeachersFirst is providing the link to the VoiceThread home page but suggests that you first watch this quick explanation about two types of FREE educator memberships being offered for classroom teachers (one free, the other with premium features and more students, but at a cost). You can click to go to the home page from there. Access to the ed.voicethread site (as opposed to www.voicethread) is restricted to grades K-12 students, educators, and administrators. VoiceThread explains how to set up a classroom account and has some ideas for classroom use, as well. Ideas from the TeachersFirst Edge review team are listed below, under "In the classroom."

Voicethread now offers a free iOS app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It is free through the iTunes app store. Projects work seamlessly on both computer and mobile iOS devices, so projects started on one machine can be edited and/or viewed on another. Your ed.Voicethread account works in both places.

tag(s): digital storytelling (86), speech (88)

In the Classroom

You will be logged into your account immediately after you fill in the registration form. You must "apply" to designate your account as an educator account once it is set up. Click on "browse" to see many examples, including tutorials. Watch the "One Minute Voicethread" to get a very quick overview of how easy it is to create a digital story. Set up student identities. Use first names only. You need to know how to locate and upload saved pictures or PowerPoint files. If you want to use audio, the COOL tool,you WILL need a microphone, either plugged into your computer or built in. They can be purchased for less than $10 at a discount or electronics store. Once you create a Voicethread, it can be shared by clicking :share" from the menu or at the end of viewing it and copying the URL to send via email or other means, inviting others to comment back. Ed voicethreads have comment moderation turned on by default and are private by default. As the teacher, you can change these settings.

Of course, you should be sure that you have the RIGHTS to any images you upload. Fair Use does not apply when you put an image on the web!

Invite parents to share in the results (The VoiceThread classroom page tells you more about this). TeachersFirst does not recommend using actual, identifiable pictures of children. Let them draw a picture or take a digital picture of an object that somehow represents them (middle schoolers will love that idea!). If you allow others to "comment" on student Voicethreads, the experience can be both wonderful and a bit intimidating. Use this opportunity to promote ethical and kind interaction with other students and their projects.

Elementary classes can create or take pictures, then ask each child to talk about the images. Each child can comment on the SAME pictures, creating a collaborative collection of responses. After a field trip or special class event, you can assign groups of students to explain each of the digital pictures you took and how they relate to curriculum topics. In art class, students can critique works of their own or of fellow students. In language arts classes, students can scan and comment on writing pieces as part of a reflective phase of the writing process. Or post an image as a prewriting activity and allow students to respond orally in an idea-generating phase. In social studies, have students provide a picture of a grandparent then narrate what they learned about that grandparent from interviewing him/her. Have students create narrated pictures as gifts (for parents or other care givers) for special occasions, winter holidays, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.. During a science experiment or demo, have a student take pictures of the steps. Then ask students to "narrate" them by commenting on what is happening. The narration assignment could even be a center activity or an assignment on a few classroom computers for students to rotate through. What a great way to review and apply key vocabulary! Be sure they identify their voices if you are using a single class account and want to be able to assess understanding. Other ideas: narrated local history projects (pictures of local sites), audio "museum tours" of artifacts (photos) or war veterans telling their stories along with images of their uniforms or old photos. Speech/language, ESL/ELL or early childhood teachers could use this tool to promote vocabulary development and oral expression.

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Free English Lessons Online - esolcourses.com

Grades
2 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
At this site you will find free interactive listening activities, reading exercises, quizzes, and more. Though developed with the ESL/ELL teacher and student in mind, any language arts...more
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At this site you will find free interactive listening activities, reading exercises, quizzes, and more. Though developed with the ESL/ELL teacher and student in mind, any language arts teacher will find activities here to help differentiate language skills in your classroom. This is an extensive site with several levels in each language arts strand. Every strand and level also has numerous activities to choose from.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): grammar (211), listening (80), reading comprehension (88), vocabulary (308)

In the Classroom

You may want to complete some of the selections with a projector and your interactive whiteboard for the whole class as there are listening activities, reading activities and quizzes about holidays, etc. You could differentiate by having small groups of students or individuals listening and reading at their different levels while you work with another group, or small groups of students can listen at a station that is one of several literacy stations in your classroom. Since each of the selections has activities in several language arts strands, one selection could make up your student's instruction for the day, or week. Students could rotate through a station for listening, one for vocabulary development, etc.

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Books Should Be Free - BooksShouldbe free

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Acquaint student's with the classics (and more) with these free public domain audio books. Most of these novels are written by authors such as: Mark Twain, L. Frank Baum, Lewis ...more
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Acquaint student's with the classics (and more) with these free public domain audio books. Most of these novels are written by authors such as: Mark Twain, L. Frank Baum, Lewis Carroll, Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austin, J.B. Barrie, Hugh Lofting, and Beatrix Potter. Some audio tracks are available in different languages. The most significant collection appears to be in French and German. Download MP3 files for each chapter in one zip file (333 MB) or directly into iTunes. Search for books by genre, author, title, or keywords. Suggest this site to students who have difficulties with reading, including with ESL/ELL students. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Share this site with your teaching colleagues who work with your learning support, foreign language, or ESL/ELL students..

tag(s): ebooks (34), fluency (24), french (84), german (61), literature (218), spanish (98)

In the Classroom

Upgrade your literature circles and include e-readers that are speech enabled. Share the stories (or full text) on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Books Should Be Free provides links to the free text that accompanies the audio track. Sites such as Project Gutenberg (reviewed here) contain free versions of the full text. Students can simultaneously listen and read books on either a classroom computer, iPad, Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, or other mobile or cell phone. These recordings will also boost fluency instruction by serving as an oral reading model. Audio-assisted books will encourage students to read with expression, improve reading comprehension, stimulate vocabulary development, and provide a way for students to read text beyond their reading level.

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Speakit! - Google Chrome

Grades
1 to 12
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Speakit is an easy to install, free program that converts written text on web pages into spoken words within the Chrome web browser. At the time of this review, it ...more
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Speakit is an easy to install, free program that converts written text on web pages into spoken words within the Chrome web browser. At the time of this review, it works exclusively on Google Chrome. You can use this extension in many different languages. All you do is highlight the text, and it reads it aloud. There are some errors in the program, they are still fixing. The tool works only on website text, not documents, etc. This extension uses text to speech service and might not be accessible to those whose computers prevent download/installation of software.

tag(s): listening (80)

In the Classroom

Use Speakit as your teacher's helper. During research or computer explorations, allow students to use this read aloud feature. Honor the students who heavily rely on hearing as their preferred form of comprehending material. In lower grades, research on computers now becomes an easier task. This extension is perfect for ESL/ELL or learning support students to help with vocabulary development, comprehension, fluency, and repetitions.

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Wylio - wylio.com

Grades
K to 12
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Find and use copyright-free pictures using simple tools and copy/paste to get the embed code. Use Wylio to search for a picture in the topic of your choice. Enter a ...more
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Find and use copyright-free pictures using simple tools and copy/paste to get the embed code. Use Wylio to search for a picture in the topic of your choice. Enter a search term, view the possible pictures, and click on your choice. Change the alignment of the picture and the size it will appear using the simple tools. When done, click "Get The Code" to view the embeddable code. Copy and paste the code into a site, blog, or wiki to share with others. What is special about Wylio? The attribution to the picture's author is embedded into the code, so you are modeling ethical use of electronic resources!

tag(s): creative commons (18), images (221), photography (136)

In the Classroom

Users must be knowledgeable about embed codes and how to use them in a site, blog, or wiki. Be sure to test out embedding a picture on your site to anticipate problems when students use Wylio. Use Wylio to find copyright-free pictures for teacher use in any subject area or for student use as soon as they learn to copy/paste embed codes. This tool would be a great asset to a photography or art class but can be used in any subject area. Use pictures that showcase life around us or in a Math class to show various Math functions in man made structures and nature. Use this site to take your geography class around the world (virtually). Have students create presentations in any subject area and narrate the pictures rather than doing a traditional oral report. Use a site such as Narrable reviewed here, to narrate the pictures. Speech and language in lower grades or ESL/ELL teachers could use pictures for vocabulary development and allow students to add words or sentences to go with the pictures. In Science, find pictures that represent various concepts and encourage explanations of these concepts for better understanding. Embeddable pictures also work very well in "glogs" (online posters made using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here) or on your class wiki. Note: embedded picture only show on computers connected to the Internet since the embed command "goes and gets" the pictures using the web.
 

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