TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Feb 12, 2017

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

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Grammarly - Max Lytvyn and Alex Shevchenko

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Check your blogs, emails, and other written content for grammar and spelling using Grammarly. Consider it your second set of eyes for proofreading any document. Copy and paste text...more
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Check your blogs, emails, and other written content for grammar and spelling using Grammarly. Consider it your second set of eyes for proofreading any document. Copy and paste text into Grammarly's text editor, or install the browser extension for use on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Grammarly also includes an add-in for Windows OS for use in Microsoft Word and Outlook. Use Grammarly to flag 250 types of errors, including context-optimized synonym suggestions. Click on underlined words to view and correct errors. This review is for the free edition of Grammarly, which includes the browser extension.

tag(s): editing (93), grammar (133), Microsoft (84), proofreading (21), spelling (95), writing (315)

In the Classroom

Use this visual revision program with your students who are ready to refine and improve their writing. Have students copy and paste writing projects into the text editor for a final check for spelling and grammar mistakes after making their last revisions. Continued use of Grammarly helps students correct writing on their own after seeing common errors in their writing. Never send out a newsletter or post to your web page with spelling or grammar errors again! Use Grammarly to spell check and suggest corrections for any published writing projects. Although Grammarly offers premium accounts, the free features provide a robust set of tools for use in all classroom situations. Add the browser extension to class computers for students to click on an unknown word when reading on the web.

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Write the World - David Weinstein

Grades
8 to 12
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Write the World provides an online space to practice writing, earn badges, get feedback, join and create public or private groups, find prompts, rubrics, and resources for all genres....more
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Write the World provides an online space to practice writing, earn badges, get feedback, join and create public or private groups, find prompts, rubrics, and resources for all genres. Oh, and they have monthly competitions where the winner receives $100, and the runner-up and best peer-reviewer receive $50. Sign up with a Google or Facebook account or email, answer a few questions and start exploring. This tool is for students over the age of 13.

tag(s): creative writing (122), descriptive writing (38), editing (93), expository writing (31), persuasive writing (55), process writing (38), proofreading (21), writing (315), writing prompts (57)

In the Classroom

Create an innovative, exciting revision experience for students to edit each other's writing and engage in the peer review process by using Write the World. Use this tool to encourage students to do their best writing, proofread, and learn how to tactfully and meaningfully comment on others' writing. Use ideas, prompts, and competitions from this site as a starting point for any writing project. Share this site with other teachers as a professional development activity. Check essays online, monitor progress, and even make suggestions for revisions to provide feedback along the way to drive strong proofreading and editing skills. Students need writing practice across the curriculum. Some ideas for your students to write about are: current events, biographies, or explanations about curriculum topics.

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Writer - Big Huge Labs

Grades
2 to 12
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Writer is a distraction-free writing app for online and offline typing. Register using email to begin using the typewriter. The free version allows saving an unlimited number of documents,...more
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Writer is a distraction-free writing app for online and offline typing. Register using email to begin using the typewriter. The free version allows saving an unlimited number of documents, and it automatically saves documents as you write. Customize your experience to include typing sounds or not, change background colors, fonts, and more. When finished, export as a PDF or text document. this is a great writing tool for students with distraction issues!

tag(s): digital storytelling (141), editing (93), journals (15), process writing (38), proofreading (21), Special Needs (53), Teacher Utilities (146), writing (315)

In the Classroom

Writer is perfect for creating any text document without distractions. Have students create any project in Writer, then copy into another program to add images and more if desired. Although perfect for use with all students, Writer is a great tool for use with students who are easily distracted, and the ability to change the background and font colors and font size will help the visually impaired.

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Copy Edit This! - New York Times and Philip B. Corbett

Grades
6 to 12
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Here is your chance to be an editor for the New York Times. This 10 question quiz includes passages from New York Times articles with one grammatical error each. Click ...more
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Here is your chance to be an editor for the New York Times. This 10 question quiz includes passages from New York Times articles with one grammatical error each. Click on the word you believe to be incorrect; if you choose the correct word, the reason for the error appears. Choose the wrong word, then try again. After three incorrect attempts, opt to select Give Up to see the correct response and explanation.
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tag(s): editing (93), grammar (133), grammar review (31), journalism (72), proofreading (21)

In the Classroom

As part of on-going grammar and editing instruction, share Copy Edit This! with a projector or on an interactive whiteboard and edit sentences together. Discuss the author's explanation for errors. Ask students to find their own examples of incorrect grammar in online publications. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Penzu, reviewed here. Share a link to Copy Edit This! on your class web page as a resource for student use when editing work.

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WordClouds - wordclouds.com

Grades
2 to 12
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WordClouds generates custom word clouds using your text. Create using their "wizard" with step-by-step directions to add documents or text and personalize features. Another option is...more
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WordClouds generates custom word clouds using your text. Create using their "wizard" with step-by-step directions to add documents or text and personalize features. Another option is to use the dashboard at the top of the page to add and customize the look of your word cloud. Choose colors, type of display, and font. The most frequent words appear larger and darker. When finished, select file to save in your choice of format or share online.

tag(s): editing (93), proofreading (21), speech (66), vocabulary (235), word choice (14), word clouds (13)

In the Classroom

WordClouds is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or with a 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 word clouds of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize 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.

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550 Narrative Prompts - NY Times - New York Times

Grades
6 to 12
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Find 500 Prompts for Narrative and Personal writing from the New York Times (NYT) Learning Network categorized by topics including Childhood Memories, Music, Movies, Theater and Television,...more
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Find 500 Prompts for Narrative and Personal writing from the New York Times (NYT) Learning Network categorized by topics including Childhood Memories, Music, Movies, Theater and Television, Overcoming Adversity, Morality and Religion, and too many more to mention here. Each prompt is based on an article in the NYT. Click the prompt to go the article.
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tag(s): creative writing (122), writers workshop (31), writing (315), writing prompts (57)

In the Classroom

These prompts are not just for language arts teachers. Science and Social Studies teachers will find many prompts to use in Beliefs, Politics and Current Events, and other categories. Digital storytelling incorporates many Common Core Standards and is a possibility in any classroom. To incorporate digital storytelling into your class use a tool like Slidestory, reviewed here, or challenge students to create a Found Poem from the news article using Word Mover, reviewed here.

Take advantage of the many ideas on this site for a class blog and student bloggers. Create a link to the list on classroom computers for student use when looking for blog suggestions. After writing about several different prompts, challenge students to choose one and create a short story or poem. Want to learn more about blogs? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics.

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