Reading in the Content Areas

TeachersFirst offers this collection of web resources well suited to teach reading in the content areas, especially in science and social studies classes, but in almost ANY subject area. See "In the classroom" ideas and strategies for teaching reading across the curriculum and find texts to use on the computer, in print, or in interactive whiteboard/projector. Sometimes using web-based texts can be more engaging, and often these are more up-to-date. Practice with these resources is certain to help student mastery of informational texts.

 

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CNN 10 - Journalists and Educators at CNN

Grades
5 to 12
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The CNN Student News WEB site is the companion to the daily CNN Student News show and is offered free of charge with no subscription. These ten-minute programs and commercial-free ...more
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The CNN Student News WEB site is the companion to the daily CNN Student News show and is offered free of charge with no subscription. These ten-minute programs and commercial-free streamed videos produced by journalists and educators at CNN provide a great alternative to YouTube. A wealth of teacher materials accompanies each video, such as transcripts for each show, discussion questions, the Media Literacy Question of the Day, detailed learning activities, downloadable maps, and additional support materials to help students understand the news. A selection of documentaries is also accessible, with discussion guides for educators. You can sign up for emails to receive Daily Education Alerts to see what information and major stories are being covered that day or choose from previous dates and news stories from the archives. Remember to preview the program before showing it to your class.

tag(s): news (245), video (249)

In the Classroom

Choose whatever fits your curriculum or as a daily warm-up for current events. This provides a great alternative to reading news articles and is especially motivating for visual learners and students who struggle with reading comprehension. After your class views the video, use the daily discussion activities designed to promote critical thinking. You are also able to print the learning activities to assign as group work or for homework. There is even a news quiz. You may want to distribute copies of the transcripts for ESL students to refer to, for use as a research source, or to use for practicing reading comprehension for state exams and other assessments. Enhance learning by challenging cooperative learning groups to research one topic at this site and share their findings with the class by creating an interactive online poster (infographic) using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here.

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Vocab-u-lous! - Education World

Grades
7 to 12
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Use Education World's Vocab-u-lous! features to help build your students' vocabulary. There are numerous word banks for students to use as they figure out which of the challenging...more
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Use Education World's Vocab-u-lous! features to help build your students' vocabulary. There are numerous word banks for students to use as they figure out which of the challenging words fits in the context of the sentences. The activity sheets are arranged by the words' beginning sound, and by holiday categories, such as Thanksgiving words and Presidents' Day words.

Be aware: this site has several advertisements, some pop-up.

tag(s): sound (86), sounds (58), vocabulary (249)

In the Classroom

Just try to take the dictionaries away from your students when you project a Vocab-u-lous activity sheet on your whiteboard (or projector) or hand them the printable version of the worksheet. These are useful for SAT preparation and other tests that assess vocabulary, as well as building a strong vocabulary necessary for better reading comprehension and oral and written communication. When using this activity with a class set of computers, provide a link from your class web page to a reputable online dictionary. For additional practice, provide this link on your class website for students to access at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Explore the Cosmos - The Planetary Society

Grades
6 to 12
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Become part of space exploration via The Planetary Society's activities, the place to go for space enthusiasts. The society's mission is "To inspire the people of Earth to explore...more
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Become part of space exploration via The Planetary Society's activities, the place to go for space enthusiasts. The society's mission is "To inspire the people of Earth to explore other worlds, understand our own, and seek life elsewhere." Although the site is text-heavy, the society offers many ways to engage with the latest space news, images, and experiences related to space and space exploration. The various projects range from working with space images to following blogs and news of various space projects. The content is quite up to date and covers projects rarely reported in mainstream media. Click the dropdown Explore menu at the top to see featured projects and more. Check out the Multimedia drop down tab at the top for a Weekly Planetary Radio Trivia Contest. If Carl Sagan is one of the founders, you know the society is serious!

tag(s): inventors and inventions (77), nasa (34), planets (128), space (222)

In the Classroom

Make this site a link on your class web page during a unit on space or all year round. Gifted students and those with a passion for space will find endless discoveries. Include this site as a research source when assigning projects about space or the planets. If you have more able students in upper elementary or middle school, use this site as a differentiated alternative for them to research at a higher level. Inspire students to read in content areas by sharing space-related "current events" articles from this site. These selections would work well on interactive whiteboards for practice using highlighters to find main idea, context clues, and other comprehension skills. No whiteboard? No problem! Use your projector and eMargin, reviewed here, to highlight and annotate as a class. If you assign portions of the site to the entire class, you may need to assign "reading buddies" for weaker readers and they can use eMargin together. Challenge students to narrate space image galleries (search for the blog entry on the "New Flickr collection of historical NASA photos") or design and explain their own devices for space exploration on Thinglink, reviewed here.

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Just Free Books - justfreebooks.info

Grades
2 to 12
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This site is an aggregator for most of the known digital libraries including Gutenberg, Google Books, Wikibooks, and archive.org. Entering search terms like "children's books," for...more
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This site is an aggregator for most of the known digital libraries including Gutenberg, Google Books, Wikibooks, and archive.org. Entering search terms like "children's books," for example, leads to a list of links that offer free online reads. Other features include books in other formats including those that upload to many different players including PDF, TXT, MS Reader, MS Word and ODT, RTF, Palm Reader eBooks, Html, Epub, Kindle, Mobipocket, Isilo, Audio books, Plucker, and more. Besides searching in "only English," you can also select Spanish, French, and/or Portuguese to search for books in those languages. In addition to the digital collection, there are also featured, donated books.

tag(s): book lists (120), literature (223)

In the Classroom

Offer this site to students who wish to use digital devices to read. Keep in mind that many of the selections are older, in the public domain due to the expiration of copyright. ESL/ELL and SPED students may benefit from being able to hear or see books in a different way. Use these texts as language to analyze or manipulate on your interactive whiteboard to teach reading comprehension skills, parts of speech, transition words, vocabulary study, and writing style. Allow students to copy/paste text into the whiteboard software so they can "work with words" from literary works instead of worksheets.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Physics To Go - APS, AAPT, and NSF-NSDL

Grades
7 to 12
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Physics To Go is an online, biweekly magazine with great ideas for physics related teaching, experiments, and pictures. The site is easy to navigate and is formatted much like a ...more
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Physics To Go is an online, biweekly magazine with great ideas for physics related teaching, experiments, and pictures. The site is easy to navigate and is formatted much like a page out of a newspaper. Archives are accessible through issue and topic organization, subjects under browse, and are fully searchable within the site. Many additional links for more research are available. This could prove to be indispensable for the high school physical science and physics teachers.

tag(s): experiments (62), motion (56), photography (140)

In the Classroom

Use this site to encourage your students to read about science outside of the classroom. Share the link on your website or class wiki. Start by assigning an article to students and have them highlight and annotate important information and questions they have and discuss it in class or on a blog. Have students use a digital tool like Hypothesis, reviewed here, for highlighting and annotating. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Weebly, reviewed here. Or, if you are teaching a unit on something specific, such as Earthquakes, once students have learned essential vocabulary, have them read the issue and follow the links on the page. Have students discuss in class what they have learned. Then, have small groups create "Top Five Facts" to summarize what they have learned. Challenge students to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to explain the "Top Five Facts" the group wishes to share with the class. Use a site such as Blabberize, reviewed here. Reading teachers can also use the articles on this site for reading comprehension practice with nonfiction selections.
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Mr Nussbaum's Language Arts - Greg Nussbaum

Grades
K to 8
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This site was developed with the idea that crucial concepts, themes, ideas, and fact sets taught in the classroom can be enhanced over the internet through interactivity. Furthermore,...more
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This site was developed with the idea that crucial concepts, themes, ideas, and fact sets taught in the classroom can be enhanced over the internet through interactivity. Furthermore, for teachers to have a reliable k -8 internet site to use in the computer lab or in the classroom, that likely covers one or many themes currently being taught. The Language Arts portion of the site contains several activities that can supplement any Language Arts program. Spelling Central allows teachers to input their own spelling words then converts the list into a word search, abc order practice, missing letter practice and a mixed up word activity that can be printed or practiced by students online. In addition, there are Language Arts games, reading comprehension exercises, story units, practice with commas, abc order, nouns and pronouns and more. Be sure to check out the animated biographies of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln. Students will need to be cautioned to ignore the ads on the right hand side of the page when exploring the site.

tag(s): alphabet (59), alphabetical order (7), presidents (119), spelling (113)

In the Classroom

This site will work well for classrooms with individual spelling lists as students can input their own list to create printables and online activities for spelling practice. Watch the animated biographies on your interactive whiteboard as part of your President's Day activities. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Share the link to the site on your classroom website or blog for students to access from home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Jewish - Holidays - Chanukah - Jacob Richman

Grades
K to 12
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This hotlist of Chanukah/Hanukkah sites has everything you might want to learn about the holiday, Jewish culture, and traditions. In addition to sites in English, there are sites in...more
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This hotlist of Chanukah/Hanukkah sites has everything you might want to learn about the holiday, Jewish culture, and traditions. In addition to sites in English, there are sites in Hebrew, Russian, and other languages, all about the holiday. You can even find sources for Chanukah/Hanukkah clip art. Although TeachersFirst does not normally review "hotlists," this collection is comprehensive and updated regularly as a "labor of love."

tag(s): hanukkah (13), holidays (134)

In the Classroom

Make this treasury a starting point for multicultural study of holidays around the world or for a more in depth study of Jewish traditions. Assign student groups to learn about specific aspects of the holiday and share their findings on a class holiday guide wiki. ith younger students, share specific links on a projector or interactive whiteboard and give students a chance to share and compare their own holiday traditions with the ones mentioned. You could even use some of these resources in upper elementary or middle school as reading comprehension exercises during the holiday season: write a summary or formulate a statement of a text-based site's main idea.

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Study English - Australia Network

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, produced by Australian TV, offers oral lessons for intermediate and advanced level English language learners. The TV productions are available online in their entirety; they...more
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This site, produced by Australian TV, offers oral lessons for intermediate and advanced level English language learners. The TV productions are available online in their entirety; they provide listening, pronunciation, and reading and writing practice for LES candidates. Although based on the Australian curriculum and testing called IELTS, the lessons, vocabulary, and practices are appropriate for any learners of English. The accent on the videos is, of course, Australian. Included in the offerings, in addition to the videos, are tape transcripts, study items, and quizzes.

tag(s): grammar (157), video (249)

In the Classroom

Use this site with ESL/ELL learners as designed. Share the lessons on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If individual computers are available, have students view the lessons independently (with headsets) and create multimedia projects to demonstrate what they have learned. Have students create an interactive online poster using Genial.ly, reviewed here. Better yet, if students get used to the video and exercise formats, have them produce similar videos teaching a few lessons about their home cultures! Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here.

Special ed teachers and those seeking combination video/text lessons to use to teach listening/reading comprehension may find these lessons valuable, as well.

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Reading in the Content Areas - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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TeachersFirst offers a collection of web resources well suited to teach reading in the content areas, especially in science and social studies classes, but in almost ANY subject area....more
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TeachersFirst offers a collection of web resources well suited to teach reading in the content areas, especially in science and social studies classes, but in almost ANY subject area. See ideas and strategies for teaching reading across the curriculum and find texts to use on the computer, in print, on an interactive whiteboard, or with a projector. Sometimes using web-based texts can be more engaging, and often these are more up-to-date in content.

tag(s): context clues (6), main idea (8), reading comprehension (123), summarizing (16)

In the Classroom

Mark this collection as a MUST have for teaching reading to students struggling to apply more than decoding skills. Pay special attention to some of the "In the classroom" tips for unexpected ways to use these sites to teach reading along with other subjects.

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Print Friendly - printfriendly

Grades
K to 12
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This useful resource can be used to take just about any page on the net and make it a printable file. The possibilities for application of this website are limitless! ...more
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This useful resource can be used to take just about any page on the net and make it a printable file. The possibilities for application of this website are limitless! This is a very helpful tool if you are unable to share a page of information any other way. You also have the option to remove paragraphs selectively, so it is easy to make an "abridged" version of an article. Note that the printables created do NOT include source information such as the URL, so you should add this information to give proper "credit" to your sources. Print Friendly pages use less paper without all the ads and images, so this is a more environmentally way to print if you must.

In the Classroom

Use this when technology access is low or you want to print an activity for students to do when you are not there to supervise the technology use. Create in class reading from blogs or other websites that are appropriate for your classroom. Make a pdf that can be opened on your interactive whiteboard without all the ads and clutter of the web page so students can annotate, highlight, and even practice reading comprehension skills such as "main idea." List this link on your class website for families to try at home! Use it to share articles with parents, as well--as long as you model proper behavior by giving credit.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Making Stopmotion Movies - Kevin Hodgson

Grades
2 to 8
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Energize your Writers Workshop by creating stopmotion movies. This is a highly engaging way to teach your students about story elements, dialogue, character development, and storyboarding....more
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Energize your Writers Workshop by creating stopmotion movies. This is a highly engaging way to teach your students about story elements, dialogue, character development, and storyboarding. Filmmakers can first organize their ideas on downloadable planning sheets. Make the characters for the movie out of clay, wiki stix, paper, or even found objects. Some free animation and movie software links are available. Step by step directions on how to create a stopmotion movie, and Windows Moviemaker, and iMovie tutorials are available.

tag(s): acting (19), creativity (98), movies (56)

In the Classroom

Encourage your students to revise and edit their writing by turning their stories into stopmotion movies. Have students work in small groups to visually re-create events from their own writing. This will help develop stronger characters, dialogue, and draw attention to the elements of time and place. The planning sheets are a helpful tool to help students examine story structure and sequence. Alternatively, develop reading comprehension and fluency by asking students to re-create a fable or folktale. The new term for this is "Readers stopmotion." Teachers may want to be comfortable using a digital camera and movie making programs before embarking on this project."

Challenge students to share their videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here or post them on your class website. Get parent permission before posting any student work on this sharing site and check with your school administrator to be sure that your school allows students to post videos on-line. Teachers may want to be comfortable using a digital camera/webcam and movie making programs before embarking on this project.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Microbes - Microbes.info

Grades
9 to 12
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Find and read articles about bacteria on this text-based site. Choose from topics such as "Food Microbiology," "Industrial Microbiology," and "Medical Microbiology." Visit the image...more
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Find and read articles about bacteria on this text-based site. Choose from topics such as "Food Microbiology," "Industrial Microbiology," and "Medical Microbiology." Visit the image den to view photographs of various bacteria. Other sections with links include "Hot Germ News" and "Disease Watch." Submit questions or read answers to submitted FAQ's. No registration is necessary, unless you wish to add comments to the forum. Registration does require an email address. Rather than using your personal email, consider creating a group Gmail account for your class.

tag(s): bacteria (23), medicine (59)

In the Classroom

During discussion of the Kingdom Monera, learn more about bacteria and our health with these articles which many will find informative and interesting. Consider creating blog posts or newsletter articles that can be shared between classes. Identify the common misconceptions of the role of bacteria in our lives. Create a class bacteria wiki. Learn more about wikis at the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. These text articles can also be copied easily to your interactive whiteboard software for practice with science notetaking, main idea, summarizing, and more as part of content area reading practice.

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Visual Thesaurus Vocab Grabber - Thinkmap,Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
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The Visual Thesaurus VocabGrabber is a captivating interactive resource which can be used from elementary school to the college level for improving vocabulary in the context of your...more
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The Visual Thesaurus VocabGrabber is a captivating interactive resource which can be used from elementary school to the college level for improving vocabulary in the context of your selected content. The on line VocabGrabber tool quickly extracts vocabulary from a text within seconds to help teachers and students generate a list of the key vocabulary and see how those words are used in context. Additionally, by clicking on a word, the part of speech is revealed and students can listen to the correct pronunciation. The format is easy to use: simply copy text from any document or online source, (such as passages of literature found on the Gutenberg Project free website), paste the copied text into the box, and click the Grab Vocabulary button! In just seconds, an interactive concept map of vocabulary words and phrases appears. Can't find an online version of the text? No worries...type the text directly into the text box and voila! The words are "grabbed" or organized in comparison to the frequency of these words in standard written English. VocabGrabber can be used with any type of text: a newspaper article, a book chapter, a speech, or a historical document.

There are additional features if you choose to subscribe, particularly the Visual Thesaurus interactive word maps, which can be saved and printed, and an online edition in multiple languages for English-speaking students learning other languages and ESL/ELL students.

tag(s): maps (247), reading comprehension (123), synonyms (21), vocabulary (249), writing (294)

In the Classroom

Teachers and students can use the VocabGrabber on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or individual computers to highlight vocabulary specific to a literary work or curricular subject area, to improve reading comprehension by choosing key concepts and literary terms, and to build background knowledge for a given text. As an added benefit, have students click on the VocabGrabber when typing their own assignments such as a poem or an essay, to avoid repeating the same word. They simply type in a word and generate a list of synonyms and more descriptive words. VocabGrabber enables students to see how words are used in context, instead of memorizing word lists. Additionally, VocabGrabber is extremely helpful for students preparing for standardized tests. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice.

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Pulitzer Center - Global Gateway - Pulitzer Center

Grades
6 to 12
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What is the biggest problem for students reading online news stories about current issues? Is it bias or facts that seem unrelated to a student's life? Enter the Pulitzer Gateway. ...more
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What is the biggest problem for students reading online news stories about current issues? Is it bias or facts that seem unrelated to a student's life? Enter the Pulitzer Gateway. This student-friendly site gives the readers a variety of formats to understand world issues in a relevant and engaging way. Use these stories for students to identify with material that may not be applicable in their own lives and to build understanding of issues affecting others. Help students find reasons to care and understand how an issue applies in the real world. Use the Gateway to connect students to journalists and professionals through a variety of means.

tag(s): journals (18), news (245), water (129)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the Gateway for information or supplementing the curriculum. Additionally, the Gateway can be used to introduce projects or investigations of world issues. Connect with the journalists to show actual research and personal investigations into these stories. Connect reading and writing across the curriculum no matter your content area using statistics, geography, and many other skills. For example, "Water Wars" is a must see no matter what subject you teach. Use one of these issues as a theme for building reading comprehension and research skills, perhaps creating a class wiki guide to the topic or inviting students to write blog posts as the different people affected by the problem. Why not provide this link on your class website for students to share with their families to promote interesting discussions at home, as well.

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The Life and Voyages of Henry Hudson - Ian Chadwick

Grades
7 to 12
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This site details the life and many attempted voyages of the English explorer Henry Hudson. Although the site is very "wordy," it is very inclusive and excellent for research. It ...more
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This site details the life and many attempted voyages of the English explorer Henry Hudson. Although the site is very "wordy," it is very inclusive and excellent for research. It includes a lot of facts, maps, information about each voyage, information about nautical measurements, and details about his ships and crews. The information and maps available here are based on the author combing historical books and documents and information. An extensive bibliography and list of weblinks relating to Hudson adds interest to the maps and history on the site.

tag(s): explorers (65), maps (247)

In the Classroom

Have the students make a cumulative map of all Hudson's voyages together in order for them to get a chance to become intimately familiar with the map making process. Try a site such as Zeemaps, reviewed here. Zeemaps allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location on a map where each story takes place. Have each cooperative learning group focus on a different exploration. Compare their creations with the online map which has all four voyages combined. Assign students in a group each a few pages of an imagined journal Henry might have written on each voyage. The most interesting part will be to imagine what happened to him after people no longer heard from him! Use this site as the starting point for individual research papers. Encourage students to find other resources that contribute to their knowledge of Henry Hudson. Have students write a talk Hudson might give if he suddenly woke up today (like Rip Van Winkle). Or make it more Web 2.0 and have students write blog entries. The text passages on this site are also ideal for reading comprehension practice. Project them on an interactive whiteboard for practice in main idea, summarizing, and more.

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Bad Science - Alistair B. Fraser

Grades
8 to 12
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"Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never, ever get it out" warns the quote at the start of this page. Bad Science is ...more
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"Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never, ever get it out" warns the quote at the start of this page. Bad Science is the site that debunks the "myths and legends" that are sadly distributed by the misinformed. It is a great site for checking understanding and pinpointing student misconceptions. Many popular ones are addressed in the links offered on this site. Learn about Bad Astronomy, Bad Chemistry, Mad Meteorology (including clouds, rain, greenhouses, and others), and the Pathetic Fallacy. The drawback to the site is that it can seem a little condescending but it may be a byproduct of the author's disgust with bad science.

tag(s): weather (188)

In the Classroom

Students could be assigned different false science statements to research and design their own science news articles comparing fact and fiction. Why not make this a multimedia project and have students complete a podcast, online poster, or narrated photo! For podcasts, try podOmatic, reviewed here. To create an online poster use a site such as Padlet reviewed here. Challenge cooperative learning groups to find a photo related to their topic (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then label the photo by adding voice bubbles to explain what they learned using a tool such as Phrase.it, reviewed here. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. A class could also be assigned a specific false science fact to research and participate in a class blog or message board discussion via the class web page or wiki site. Students could also use the fiction as the basis for their own "Myth busters" episodes. Reading teachers looking for passages to use in reading comprehension practice, such as finding main idea and supporting details will find these non-fiction passages informative and interesting for their students. Make a temporary copy of one of the explanations to display in your interactive whiteboard software as students highlight key ideas and separate out supporting details using the whiteboard tools. Your science teachers will LOVE you for it!

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Dummies.com - John Wiley & Sons

Grades
6 to 12
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Everyone knows the "for Dummies" books, but did you know there is an entire web site? This site, created by the same publisher, has text-based and video "How To" information ...more
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Everyone knows the "for Dummies" books, but did you know there is an entire web site? This site, created by the same publisher, has text-based and video "How To" information on thousands of topics, organized into general categories. It is also searchable. The education/languages area has both obvious and more obscure topics than you might expect, from To Write a Sonnet to How to Build a Bill (in the U.S. Congress). These text- based articles are great for those who follow verbal information well and often include simple diagrams. The more consumer-oriented areas of the site include videos from setting up your wireless network to carving a turkey. Click on "all videos" under the Featured video to see the video categories.

tag(s): sequencing (24), writing (294)

In the Classroom

Be sure to tell your students that they are NOT the "dummies" referred to in this site! Then go beyond the obvious use of this site as a reference to use it to teach informational writing, reading comprehension, or any curriculum content. Share text-based articles on a projector or interactive whiteboard and have students analyze the keywords and structure of sequential direction-writing or informational writing before they try it on their own. Use the pens and highlighters to note transitions and other ways of organizing directions, including formatting. Use articles to teach basic comprehension skills by copy/pasting sections and having students drag them into the correct sequence on the whiteboard to form logical directions. In science or social studies classes, have students view models on this site, then work in groups to write their own how-to wiki on curriculum topics such as "How to tell a fungus from a bacterium," "How to solve simultaneous equations," or "How to form a government." If you have access to video equipment, have students write scripts and produce video versions of their how-to instructions and post them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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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 (245), newspapers (93)

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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Find a Book - lexile.com

Grades
1 to 12
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This site allows teachers and students to go through four simple steps to find a book that has a lexile rating. The steps include entering a lexile range (if unknown: ...more
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This site allows teachers and students to go through four simple steps to find a book that has a lexile rating. The steps include entering a lexile range (if unknown: enter grade level and ease of reading), interests (similar to a keyword search), search of all items that come up, and list-making.

One disadvantage of the site is that you can only enter a keyword when you get to the third step. After a book list based on interests appears, then you can search by keyword to make the search zero in on specifics. When teachers or students select books for a reading list, they can then click to see the complete list of books they have selected. Clicking on a book title leads to another screen, but it does not contain a book summary; instead, it has a list of other keywords for the book along with other book data.

tag(s): book lists (120), independent reading (106)

In the Classroom

This site is great for teachers searching for books at specific lexile levels. Learning support and ESL/ELL teachers can find books to accompany units in content area classes but on the correct lexile level. Students can also use the site by entering their grade levels and what kind of readers they are. Use this site to differentiate the learning experience for all levels of students. Rather than having students complete traditional book reports, why not have them complete a multimedia project? Provide some choices such as a podcast, using PodoMatic (reviewed here), interactive venn diagram comparing characters (reviewed here), or online book using Bookemon (reviewed here).

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Starfall - Starfall Education

Grades
K to 3
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Find interactive reading activities for emergent/beginning readers at Starfall. It combines instruction in letter-sound relationships, word recognition skills, and reading comprehension...more
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Find interactive reading activities for emergent/beginning readers at Starfall. It combines instruction in letter-sound relationships, word recognition skills, and reading comprehension strategies. Seasonal activities can also be found on the main page. The four "levels" of reading at Starfall include "ABCs," "Learn to Read," "It's Fun to Read," and "I'm Reading." There is also a premium option, this review is only for the free interactives. The app (available on iOs, Google Play and Kindle Fire) offers more free intereactives than the web version.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (167), phonics (47)

In the Classroom

This website could be used for an entire class using your interactive whiteboard or projector. You could also set up a learning center for use during your L.A. block. Use this site to differentiate reading levels for your students. Be certain to save this site in your class favorites and list this site on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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