TeachersFirst - What's Popular

This page shares the 25 resources most frequently marked as Favorites by TeachersFirst Members in the past 60 days. See what tops the list of TeachersFirst's database of well over 15,000+ educator-reviewed web resources. Find out what other teachers are excited about. Not a TeachersFirst member yet? See the time saving benefits of free TeachersFirst membership

 

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Classroom Strategies - Reading Rockets

Grades
K to 6
7 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Classroom Strategies contains a vast library of resources for teaching reading skills. Choose from six different literacy strategies to find instructions on using the strategy, templates,...more
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Classroom Strategies contains a vast library of resources for teaching reading skills. Choose from six different literacy strategies to find instructions on using the strategy, templates, examples, children's books to teach the strategy, and much more. The interactive chart also includes information on when and how to use each strategy. Many strategies include a video showing how to use these ideas in the classroom. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube. This site is a must-have for any reading teacher!

tag(s): fluency (24), persuasive writing (57), phonics (70), reading comprehension (126), writing (366)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as an excellent resource for teaching literacy and reading. Use a tool like 3x3 Links, reviewed here, to be able to organize and locate your bookmarks in a snap! Share strategies as part of your ongoing professional development activities both in school and with your Professional Learning Network (PLN). Use an audio recording tool like Vocaroo, reviewed here, to record a student reading before and after using teaching strategies shared on this site. Share tips for reading strategies with parents using an online portfolio site like Seesaw, reviewed here. Seesaw provides tools for a class blog and sharing student work through images and videos.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Me Make Monster! Custom - Me Make Monster

Grades
K to 5
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Calling all Frankenstein scientists (and artists) to create a monster! Create your own creatures by choosing from faces, eyes, mouth, nose, hair, eyebrows, legs, arms, skin, clothes,...more
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Calling all Frankenstein scientists (and artists) to create a monster! Create your own creatures by choosing from faces, eyes, mouth, nose, hair, eyebrows, legs, arms, skin, clothes, and more! Give your monster a name, and you are done. Share using various social networks or email. You can also easily save your monster to your own computer.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), descriptive writing (40), firstday (25), halloween (38)

In the Classroom

Share how to use this engaging site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students create and share their monster creature as an icebreaker activity. In language arts classes, use monsters as an avatar in introducing lesson concepts, reviewing, and questioning sessions. Create stories featuring the students' monsters! Monsters can give summary reviews of correct or incorrect information. Create multimedia stories describing the monsters and have students present information using their creatures using UTellStory, reviewed here. This tool allows narrating and adding text to a picture. Create Halloween fun monsters galore! As a class incentive, earn monsters as a reward system for academic achievement or behavior. In science create monsters suited to different habitats, predators, jobs, or adaptations. Create monsters during the first week of school for students to introduce themselves, and post them on your class wiki along with their explanations.

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TweenTribune - Alan Jacobson

Grades
K to 12
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TweenTribune has joined with Smithsonian and now offers the news in Lexile levels for k-4, 5-8, 9-12. That is not the only change. The Smithsonian TweenTribune now has several ...more
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TweenTribune has joined with Smithsonian and now offers the news in Lexile levels for k-4, 5-8, 9-12. That is not the only change. The Smithsonian TweenTribune now has several new features, including a Dashboard for assignments and classrooms, assigning a story to all with one click, and self-scoring quizzes for articles. There are now free apps for the iPad and iPhone. TweenTribune continues to include open-ended critical thinking questions and a daily quiz using multiple sources. This site is still jam packed with current news stories that are chosen by site coordinators for all reading levels. The articles are easy to read, relate to, and understand. The site is easy to navigate with a subject indexed toolbar, and it is searchable. All stories are current because the creators scour the internet weekly for age-appropriate material. It greatly reduces the pressure of searching by giving an article research tool that is much more specific than simply using a search engine.

tag(s): news (260), newspapers (98)

In the Classroom

The sky is the limit for potential and possibilities with this website. There are some minor warnings. If you want to allow your students to post to a blog, you will need to create a class and then have them enroll. The great news is that is free. As the teacher, you can moderate or delete posts before they are public. There are lessons available on the site as well as a "Teacher's Lounge" where lesson ideas can be exchanged. In a language arts classroom, students could be assigned to read and blog as a weekly writing assignment. The teacher can assign a specific article or have students choose. Have students read their articles on a podcast using podOmatic, reviewed here. In science, articles from this site could be used to supplement science textbook reading with current articles that better interest students. Articles are short and provide quick practice pieces for non-fiction reading comprehension. Project a story and ask students to write their own sentence for the main idea or to summarize. These quick pieces would fit well on your interactive whiteboard. SmithsonianTweenTribune Espanol allows students to read daily news articles in Spanish and post comments about the stories they read. Teachers moderate all comments before the comments are posted.

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Paper Rater - paperrater.com

Grades
6 to 12
17 Favorites 0  Comments
 
At Paper Rater you can check your grammar, detect plagiarism, and find writing suggestions all at one place. Use this site for sixth grade writing and above. With the free ...more
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At Paper Rater you can check your grammar, detect plagiarism, and find writing suggestions all at one place. Use this site for sixth grade writing and above. With the free version you are able to check for plagiarism, grammar, vocabulary, word choice and style (transitions). No login is required. PaperRater offers a premium version for a fee.

tag(s): book reports (36), editing (74), essays (20), grammar (210), plagiarism (36), proofreading (25), writing (366)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to find their document and copy and paste into the correct fields. Follow the easy directions to determine grammar errors and create a better document. Use without a login or sign up.

Have students use Paper Rater to check their rough drafts. Have students work in pairs, as a peer review, to help each other improve their papers using the suggestions given by Paper Rater. Provide this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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Fish Tanks - William H. Sadlier, Inc.

Grades
5 to 6
6 Favorites 0  Comments
Learning prefixes, bases, and suffixes can be quite a task, but upper elementary students can use this interactive game to practice these skills. Students must correctly identify the...more
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Learning prefixes, bases, and suffixes can be quite a task, but upper elementary students can use this interactive game to practice these skills. Students must correctly identify the parts of each word to fill the tank with tropical fish.

tag(s): prefixes (16), suffixes (13)

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Reading For All - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
13 Favorites 0  Comments
This TeachersFirst professional page includes extensive resources for Reading in the Content Areas, Graphic Organizers, Reading Strategies, Vocabulary Development, Elementary Reading,...more
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This TeachersFirst professional page includes extensive resources for Reading in the Content Areas, Graphic Organizers, Reading Strategies, Vocabulary Development, Elementary Reading, independent reading, and special topics reading lists. The page also includes a link for you to purchase books from Amazon and have TeachersFirst receive a portion of the proceeds. TeachersFirst is a free service of a non-profit since 1998. Why not shop through this link to help TeachersFirst continue its service to teachers worldwide?

tag(s): amazon (9), area (73)

In the Classroom

No matter what you teach, these resources will help you target reading and study skills for better comprehension and more.

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WriteReader - Children As Creators - WriteReader

Grades
K to 5
4 Favorites 0  Comments
     
The scientific research behind WriterReader is that one develops and improves their reading skills by writing. With WriteReader kids create their own books, including text, pictures,...more
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The scientific research behind WriterReader is that one develops and improves their reading skills by writing. With WriteReader kids create their own books, including text, pictures, and voice recordings. Adults/Teachers have their own space on the page to write comments and make corrections. The interface is so simple even a young child can use it successfully after some adult guidance. Register with email or your Google account and find a downloadable Teachers Guide, a Parent Letter, and a Lesson Plan online to get kids started with WriteReader. Click "Add a class..." and enter students manually, or students can join the class with a class code. Languages available are US English, UK English, Dansk (Danish) and Svenska (Swedish). There is also an introductory video that will help everyone get started. This video resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): digital storytelling (153), reading strategies (51), writing (366)

In the Classroom

WriteReader is so simple very young students can use it successfully after a demonstration using a whiteboard or projector. While creating their books students will be able to add images, multiple pages and delete pages, include voice-over, use color on the pages, view one page at a time or the entire book, and toggle between letters' names/sounds or no audio. Use this tool to design simple projects using student drawings to tell the story. At the beginning of the year have students draw and annotate stories to tell about their summer and share with classmates. Students of any age love to draw, so why not have them draw their impression of what the message to the reader was after hearing a story and then explain it in writing? ESL/ELL students especially will benefit from hearing the letter sounds as they are beginning to write in their new language.

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Newsela - Matthew Gross

Grades
2 to 12
18 Favorites 1  Comments
Newsela is a data base of current events stories tailor-made for classroom use. Indexed by broad theme (e.g. War and Peace, Arts, Science, Health, Law, Money), stories are both student-friendly...more
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Newsela is a data base of current events stories tailor-made for classroom use. Indexed by broad theme (e.g. War and Peace, Arts, Science, Health, Law, Money), stories are both student-friendly and can be accessed in different formats by reading level. Use Newsela to differentiate nonfiction reading. Newspaper writers rewrite a story four times for a total of five Lexile levels per story. All articles have embedded, Common Core aligned quizzes that conform to the reading levels for checking comprehension. An account is required to use Newsela, both for teachers and for students, but students sign up using a teacher or parent provided code rather than an email address. Teachers can create classes and assign reading-level specific articles to individual students, or download printable PDF copies of the article in any of its reading-level versions. There is an upgraded fee-based Pro Version which allows teachers or administrators to track reading progress and sutdents to take constructed response writing assessments, but many of the features are free and there is no outside advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (179), differentiation (45), guided reading (47), independent reading (129), news (260), reading comprehension (126)

In the Classroom

Achieve two goals here: help students improve their reading comprehension and keep them current with what is happening in our nation and the world. When assigning articles, choose to have the class read at one reading level, or choose individuals and set the reading level for them. There are five categories from which to choose. You may want to set up different articles at different learning stations on the computers in your room. Have the students rotate daily through the stations, completing one or two a day until they have completed all five articles. Since Newsela is cloud based, even absent students can complete the missed work easily. Teachers of gifted students can use this site to accelerate or enrich reading for students. Find each student's individual levels for reading nonfiction. Teachers of Learning Support and ELL students will love this alternate way for their students to meet current events requirements.

Comments

This is an excellent site and allows differentiation while everyone is reading the same text. Renee, NC, Grades: 0 - 5

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ReadWorks - ReadWorks.org

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
  
ReadWorks provides a free, research-based, and Common Core-aligned reading comprehension curriculum for grades K-6. Search through hundreds of lesson plans organized by grade level,...more
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ReadWorks provides a free, research-based, and Common Core-aligned reading comprehension curriculum for grades K-6. Search through hundreds of lesson plans organized by grade level, topic, or book titles. Register to download materials and save lessons to your folder. (A valid email and password is required). Other areas of the site provide information about using and teaching the provided lessons and differentiation. Choose the non-fiction portion of the site to obtain over 1,000 reading passages along with question sets to support learning activities for grades K-12. Click on the skill/strategy link located by a passage to find other material addressing that skill.

tag(s): characterization (15), context clues (7), figurative language (16), guided reading (47), independent reading (129), main idea (8), parts of speech (67), plot (10), point of view (10), reading comprehension (126), reading strategies (51), sequencing (29), themes (12), vocabulary (319)

In the Classroom

This site is a must. Bookmark ReadWorks for access throughout the year. Search for lessons addressing specific skills to use in your classroom. Share with others in your building, and be sure to check out the 5th and 6th grade novel study units for classroom use, perhaps with gifted 3rd and 4th graders too!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators - USC Rossier/Leah Anne Levy

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
The Guide to Pinterest for Educators is an excellent resource for teachers and administrators with tips and information for managing Pinterest as a powerful learning tool. Divided into...more
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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators is an excellent resource for teachers and administrators with tips and information for managing Pinterest as a powerful learning tool. Divided into eight sections this handbook discusses the basics of pinning, organization, collaboration, and more. Each section is short and simple to read, making this an outstanding guide for using Pinterest as part of your professional planning and teaching tools.

tag(s): bookmarks (67), professional development (161), social media (26)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to understand how to use Pinterest for your personal and professional use and also for student collaboration. Share ideas with other staff members to collaborate on shared interests. Discuss one section a month with your professional learning network (PLN) and reflect together how to make the most of Pinterest in your educational setting.

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Mission US - Thirteen

Grades
4 to 8
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Mission US is a free online interactive US History adventure. Mission US offers amazing interactives that are set throughout US History. The first activity Mission 1: "For Crown or...more
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Mission US is a free online interactive US History adventure. Mission US offers amazing interactives that are set throughout US History. The first activity Mission 1: "For Crown or Colony?" has players becoming a 1770 14-year-old printer's apprentice named Nat Wheeler. As players move through the activities they meet characters from all walks of life and must choose where their loyalties lie. This site does require a log-in and password, but no email address is required.

tag(s): american revolution (85), evolution (101)

In the Classroom

This is a must for any social studies or US History class. Start by checking out the teachers area so you can follow the progress of your students. Use the demo game on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector to introduce it to your students. Once classes are set up have your students work in cooperative groups and work their way through the activities. There are wonderful teacher resources available including models for instruction, tips, instructions and student handouts. Resources are available in both PDF and Word so you can customize the worksheets for your students. This feature is great for differentiating materials for various student levels. When all students are done have a class discussion about what side they chose and why?
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Gold Rush - California - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Explore vocabulary and word activities related to the Gold Rush 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 the Gold Rush on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using Gold Rush 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): california (26), gold rush (19)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner to try out the puzzles on their own. Have students (or groups) create their own word puzzles to share as a class challenge as a student-run interactive whiteboard activity or share them on a class wiki.

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Be A Historian - Immigration - Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area

Grades
4 to 10
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This website is a virtual time-travel experience for students in grades 4-10. The students travel back to the late 1800s in Waterloo, Iowa and see immigration to America. ...more
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This website is a virtual time-travel experience for students in grades 4-10. The students travel back to the late 1800s in Waterloo, Iowa and see immigration to America. Although the site talks about Iowa, the information is applicable to American immigration in general. This website provides 10 different activities (many interactive and open-ended). The activities could also easily be used for differentiating instruction for various levels of ability. The website provides summaries, answer keys, standards and extension activities for the teachers.

tag(s): ellis island (9), immigration (60), iowa (4), migration (58)

In the Classroom

This activity would be great for cooperative learning groups, whole class projects, or independent assignments. The ten activities provided are all very diverse and cover language arts, research, mathematics, history and more!

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Railroad Pictures

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This searchable collection of old railroad photos could be a useful reference for a student doing a research paper on American history, industrialization, transportation or commerce....more
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This searchable collection of old railroad photos could be a useful reference for a student doing a research paper on American history, industrialization, transportation or commerce. While the site permits very specific searches, most students will likely find even a general search returns useful images.

tag(s): railroads (11)

In the Classroom

Use the images from this site to supplement a lecture on transportation and the railroads. They are extremely detailed images and can be searched to find those that meet the time period being studied.

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The Teacher Toolkit - The Region 13 Educator Certification Program (ECP)

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Find many strategies and techniques to keep your class engaged and interested! Many of the strategies are also helpful in adult meetings. View the short video on the home page ...more
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Find many strategies and techniques to keep your class engaged and interested! Many of the strategies are also helpful in adult meetings. View the short video on the home page to get a good overview of what to find and how to navigate this site. See the Strategies and Techniques, or Tools, by clicking on the button. Not only will all the tools be displayed, but on the left find a menu with categories to make it easier to find what you are looking for. There are Opening and Closing Activities, Checks for Understanding, Reading Strategies, and more. There is no sign in to see all the activities. However, by joining the site, you will be able to take and save notes for the different tools of interest. Each tool has an overview of how and when to use it, variations of the tool, and templates (downloaded in Word) for participants to use. Some tools have accompanying videos to show the tool in action. The video clips require Flash, the rest of the site does not.

tag(s): back to school (58), classroom management (155), reading strategies (51)

In the Classroom

Keep lessons engaging and interactive with these Tools. For instance use the Quiz, Quiz, Trade activity to get students up and to interact with questions for review before a test. To structure a meaningful discussion try the 5-3-1 activity. Use the Gallery Walk to review and get students discussing the unit or topic just finished. With the Gallery Walk, student groups could create posters (maybe a picture summary of something just read in class) and walk around observing and taking notes from others' posters. There are dozens more for you to try at The Teacher Toolkit.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Substitutes - Ideas and Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Peruse this collection of ideas and reviewed resources selected to help both substitute teachers and regular teachers leaving instructions for a substitute. The list includes useful...more
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Peruse this collection of ideas and reviewed resources selected to help both substitute teachers and regular teachers leaving instructions for a substitute. The list includes useful time-fillers for when plans are not a perfect fit as well as teacher-friendly suggestions to make subbing a positive learning experience for all.

tag(s): substitutes (18)

In the Classroom

Whether you are a substitute looking for some "filler" ideas or a classroom teacher looking for new sites, check out this list of resources. Share this list on your class website for families to use at home. This list includes resources for young readers and secondary students.

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Language Arts Presentations - Free Club Web

Grades
K to 12
12 Favorites 0  Comments
Wow - this website provides ready-to-use PowerPoint presentations on over 100 topics. The presentations were created by teachers - for teachers to use in their classrooms. This website...more
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Wow - this website provides ready-to-use PowerPoint presentations on over 100 topics. The presentations were created by teachers - for teachers to use in their classrooms. This website organizes topics by general grade levels (K-5 and 6-12). Just to give you a taste of the uniqueness of these presentations, topics include such diverse topics as Shakespeare, "grammar goofs," active reading strategies, haunted house graphic organizer, phonics millionaire game, pronouns, and numerous others. Any language arts teacher is guaranteed to find something useful at this website. Do yourself a favor and check it out! You may need PowerPoint software to be able to view these files, depending on how the site creators save them. Note: while files are downloading, it may appear that nothing is happening and that the links are dead. Look for a tiny "downloading" icon in the lower left corner of your screen, and please be patient! This site has heavy advertising at the top of the landing page. Scroll down to find the presentations.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): air (147), grammar (210), narrative (19), shakespeare (111)

In the Classroom

Try these ready-to-go PowerPoint presentations on an interactive whiteboard or projector in your classroom. Some may also be well-suited for individual students to run on a single classroom computer for remediation or review. There are games, resources and a lot of information. The site includes a disclaimer asking to be notified if users find any copyrighted material. TeachersFirst recommends that you NOT download copies but instead use them online, just in case.

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Comic Creator - ReadWriteThink.org

Grades
2 to 12
13 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Your students will create professional-looking comics in minutes using this Comic Creator site. No log-in is required. Just type in the prompted information, such as the name of comic...more
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Your students will create professional-looking comics in minutes using this Comic Creator site. No log-in is required. Just type in the prompted information, such as the name of comic character, author, caption, and of course, the dialog that goes into the speech bubble. The 'creator' chooses the number of panels, type of characters, style of speech bubble, and various props. Two actions are needed: clicking and dragging the items to go into the comic strip, and typing dialog into the bubbles. Then, presto....a genuine comic appears, ready for printing. The tool DOES support accent marks pasted from Word. (Unfortunately, there is no way to save your comic masterpieces.) This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): comics and cartoons (64), sequencing (29), summarizing (16)

In the Classroom

Instead of writing boring summaries, why not summarize through a comic strip. It's much like storyboarding, but the drawing has been left to the Comic Creator pros. Make a class book of the comics created throughout the year. That book will become the most read classroom book of all in an elementary classroom. Use comics to show sequencing of events. When studying about characterization, create dialog to show (not tell) about a character. Another idea - why not use the comic strips for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or draw the pictures) than use the actual words. World language and ESL/ELL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternate to traditional written assessments.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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103 Things to Do Before/During/After Reading - Reading Rockets

Grades
K to 8
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This site has an (almost) endless supply of suggestions for what students, parents, and teachers can do to encourage more and more reading and literary involvement. Students participate...more
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This site has an (almost) endless supply of suggestions for what students, parents, and teachers can do to encourage more and more reading and literary involvement. Students participate in reading, dramatic, discussion, and artistic activities to reinforce their connection to the printed word and build comprehension in a very active way!

In the Classroom

Use this list as an idea generator for book report alternatives or even for lesson ideas. Share the link or some of the ideas on your tecaher web page for students to choose a book report product/project/performance. Print these suggestions out and share all or some of them with parents in a newsletter,at conference times, or before summer vacation. Give credit for your source, of course!

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Summarizing - Educational Development Center, Inc.

Grades
4 to 8
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Students can practice the art of summarizing a text with this interactive quiz. Short passages are accompanied by multiple-choice questions challenging students to zero in on the best...more
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Students can practice the art of summarizing a text with this interactive quiz. Short passages are accompanied by multiple-choice questions challenging students to zero in on the best summation of the story. Immediate feedback with explanations is provided. The activity is rounded out by an interactive review of main idea vs. detail.

tag(s): reading comprehension (126)

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Homographs - Tracy Boyd

Grades
3 to 5
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This online game challenges students to identify the correct definition for a homograph that is being described. Can be played independently or with a partner. Great vocabulary building...more
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This online game challenges students to identify the correct definition for a homograph that is being described. Can be played independently or with a partner. Great vocabulary building activity. This site requires FLASH.

tag(s): grammar (210)

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Poetry Engine - Scholastic

Grades
2 to 4
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Take the stress out of teaching a poetry lesson with this interactive site that introduces students to limericks, haiku, free verse, and cinquains. Students can choose a style, work...more
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Take the stress out of teaching a poetry lesson with this interactive site that introduces students to limericks, haiku, free verse, and cinquains. Students can choose a style, work through a brief tutorial, and then create their own poems using a word bank and template. An entertaining and informative activity to kick off a creative writing lesson.

tag(s): poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector, then keep it as a link on your teacher web page for students to access from the classroom computer or from home. Use this site during Poetry Month (April).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Capzles - Capzles

Grades
2 to 12
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Use this free online tool to create timelimes embedded with media that can be shared with others. Create timelines that include music, pictures and photos, video, and text. Change backgrounds...more
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Use this free online tool to create timelimes embedded with media that can be shared with others. Create timelines that include music, pictures and photos, video, and text. Change backgrounds and customize your timeline for a personal and creative touch.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): multimedia (62), timelines (57)

In the Classroom

Teachers need to be able to identify material to be used in the creation of the timeline and strategies to help students be prepared for student assignments (checklists, goal sheets, or presentation planners). Click "Create" to begin making a "Capzles." Use the buttons on the left to follow the creation process and create with the following: Add titles, description, tags, content and media, set privacy, and share. Watch a video tutorial to learn steps to create a timeline. Click "Explore" along the top to view previously made timelines. Click on "Share" to send email links to others.

Consider creating a class account for easier access. You may want to send students directly to URLs for their own projects or use the site as a whole-class activity using a teacher-created Capzles to spark discussion.

Create Capzles that introduce new topics and content for great student discussion. Students can use pieces of the capzle to brainstorm questions, initiate research, and learn more about the topic. Capzles are an interesting way for students to tell stories about a project, research, or as a class activity. Use to showcase fun items such as "what I did on my summer vacation," "the story of my dog," family, etc. Create Capzles from the point of view of a literary character or historical figure telling his/her story. Remember to teach about copyright, since using copyrighted images in a Capzle would not be "fair use" due to unlimited distribution. Look for images in the public domain or with Creative Commons licensing and model giving attribution for them.

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Finding the Message: Grasping Themes in Literature - Scholastic

Grades
4 to 7
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This lesson plan introduces students to the literary element of theme and provides practice in recognizing themes in a variety of texts (suggested). Graphic organizers, slide shows,...more
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This lesson plan introduces students to the literary element of theme and provides practice in recognizing themes in a variety of texts (suggested). Graphic organizers, slide shows, lists of common themes, movies, songs, and seven mentor picture books that are good for discussing theme, and links to supporting materials are included. Aligned to National Standards. You can share this lesson via email, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.

tag(s): plot (10), themes (12)

In the Classroom

Select and choose material from this lesson to introduce your students to themes in literature. Some are better used with the entire class, others in small groups, pairs, or at stations. Have students create a digital bulletin board to post what they are learning and questions they have using a tool like Padlet, reviewed here. With Padlet you can create columns for categorizing information. Challenge students to create a word cloud about themes using Word Clouds for Kids, reviewed here. After using the Scholastic lesson, continue student learning about themes by using CommonLit, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Words: Spelling - BBC

Grades
2 to 6
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Students can practice the nuts and bolts of spelling with this collection of activities involving root words, prefixes and suffixes, silent letters, and letter patterns. Some activities...more
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Students can practice the nuts and bolts of spelling with this collection of activities involving root words, prefixes and suffixes, silent letters, and letter patterns. Some activities even include a listening component, so headphones are suggested. The site is created in the UK, so a few words may have different spellings from standard American English.

tag(s): patterns (87), prefixes (16), root words (13)

In the Classroom

Use these activities as learning centers or stations during a unit on any on of the featured basic English rules. Haves students complete the site individually on classroom computers. Most of the sections have accompanying quizzes that can be used to test student knowledge before or after the activity. This is a great way to figure out where students are having the most trouble, allowing you to tailor instruction accordingly.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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