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.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomSince the subtitle for this page is "Reading Comprehension and Test Preparation," recommend this site to ESL and ELL students preparing for standardized tests. Save it in your favorites on class computers and provide the link on your class website for students to access both in the classroom and out. The activities would also work well on interactive whiteboard.
Share the "Signs" link with your students. Challenge students to create their own signs, similar to those used at this site. Have cooperative learning groups create interactive posters featuring their signs using a tool such as (PicLits - explained here). Share the "PicLits" on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
GradesK to 5
In the ClassroomThis site is a good one to search for quick and easy ideas to celebrate Mother's Day. Save this site in your class favorites and use this site as a learning center for partners to explore together.
Grades2 to 6
In the ClassroomShare this informative site with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups explore this site together. Why not challenge students to create a news broadcast highlighting the holiday. Tape the broadcasts and share them on a site such as Teachers.TV (explained here).
GradesK to 8
tag(s): st patricks day (12)
In the ClassroomUse an interactive whiteboard or projector and challenge your students with this St. Patrick's Day fun!
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomNo matter what you teach, these resources will help you target reading and study skills for better comprehension and more.
Grades3 to 12
This site does have several appropriate advertisements. There are also a few questionable links on the site (for example, "Uncensored English"), so be sure to supervise WELL.
In the ClassroomYou will need headphones or speakers if you choose to assign students to listen to the podcasts individually. This site is excellent for enrichment or special topics. Include it on your teacher web page (with a disclaimer regarding content) for students to access both in and out of class. Use this site with intermediate and advanced level ELL and ESL students to help them improve their knowledge of English slang and idioms. If you are into video, consider creating your own student vodcasts about idioms and sharing them via TeacherTube ( reviewed here) and on your class wiki.
GradesK to 6
Caution: although you are able to use many of these items for free, most downloads ask that you input your email address. You can bypass this by clicking submit without inputting your email address. This website requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page. .
In the ClassroomThe books can be projected on an interactive whiteboard for students to highlight new vocabulary, signal words, etc. with their fingers then read independently. Tell your students' parents about this site to encourage them to read or download and print more stories for their children. Include the link in your class newsletter or on your website. Beginning readers, ELL, and ESL students will enjoy the wordless books whose stories they can tell themselves or tell in their own languages. Students may want to make up their own wordless picture books after seeing some of these examples.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomRegular classroom teachers will want to use this site with ESL and ELL students fwhen they need a quick review on a specific grammar point. Use the professional articles for your own edification as well as links to other topics of interest.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThis website is particularly useful if your ESL/ELL students want to perform a portion of a play. If your students are having difficulty with article usage, try a different approach to teaching the skill in the context of drama. If you have access to DVDs of the films used, you may want to play a few clips for the students.
GradesK to 2
In the ClassroomThe handwriting interactives would work well when traced by little fingers on an interactive whiteboard for "tactile" practice and a little "whiteboard magic" thrown in. A word of caution to teachers:This site is free, which means the countless games and activities must be paid through advertisement. Caution your students not to click on anything except the game components.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomShare this site on your teacher web page or classroom desktop for fast student access to sport statistics and a way to submit creative works. Use sports statistics for math practice and to teach graphing or data organization skills. Use the sports stories as non-fiction examples for reading comprehension. Share a Top Story on your interactive whiteboard as you ask students to highlight parts of speech, cause-effect words, main idea, and more. Suddenly your students will actually READ!
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomTool can be used in less than 30 seconds. Open TWO windows in Internet Explorer or any web browser. One should be open to citebite; the other to the web page you wish to reference. On that web page, locate and "highlight" the exact passage of text you want to "send" people to see. Copy/paste the passage into the quotation box at Citebite (copy, then change windows). Return to the target web page and copy/paste its actual URL into Citebite. Click "Make Citebite." Copy/paste the new url, indicated after "Your citebite link is:" Note: if the original quote is within a FLASH presentation, it will not copy/paste or generate a Citebite. See this example of a Citebite link to a tip about TeachersFirst Edge tools.
Have your middle and high school students do a web page "credibility critique" on their potential sources by using Citebite before they start a research project. They can highlight passages as proof of credibility -- or lack thereof -- and give you the Citebite links. They will love this easy way to reference a specific portion of a page. You will love the ease of finding it. If you give them a Word document table as a web site evaluation rubric, they can paste the Citebites there, with their comments in the neighboring cell!
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): air (106)
In the ClassroomBecause these books are in the public domain (i.e. older), their language is not "contemporary." The texts would make excellent pieces for reading comprehension passages or culture study of past times, and you need not be worried about copying/pasting text from these into other software and/or making copies. You could even use them as passages on an interactive whiteboard to practice "main idea" or parts of speech.
The illustrations are simple and beautiful. Print out some great artwork for your classroom bulletin boards, copyright-free!
The myths/legends collection would be great for upper elementary or later mythology units. Students can also use the passages and illustrations to create multimedia "tales" of their own. Give them the opening passage and let them write the rest.
The myths/legends collection would be great for upper elementary or later mythology unitsDavid, VA, Grades: 4 - 8
The illustrations are simple and beautiful.David, VA, Grades: 4 - 8
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the stories to teach reading comprehension skills, especially inferencing, since American students will need to use context to figure out some of the terminology and background written by British students. Try projecting a story and asking student how to find context clues to explain what the story is about. If you have an interactive whiteboard, use the tools to mark clues. Then use these stories as models for writing activities on topics that matter to your students.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomUse these printed organizers as study support for any content area topic. Many are excellent options for reinforcing reading skills in the content areas, even for senior high students. Include this on your teacher web page so students can create their own organizers to study for tests or prepare presentations.
To make a new organizer, simply click "new," write title and directions, and print the small "print" icon. It may be easiest to take their default directions and change them for your purposes. Note that you LOSE your work when you close the page, so make sure you have printed first!
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomThis is a great way to find ideas for literature contracts, guided reading assignments, teachers who are having writer's block. Great way to tie science to language arts using a write-to-learn approach. This is a sure way to build content area reading comprehension of your science textbook.
Grades1 to 5
In the ClassroomUse the entertaining prompts to start your class blog entries or journal writing activities for Thanksgiving. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, exchange pen and paper and have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Site123, reviewed here. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, replace pencil and paper and challenge your students to create a blog using Seesaw, reviewed here. After completing a couple of the writing prompts, challenge older students to choose one and create a script for their story; then, stretch their learning and put it into a Thanksgiving podcast. Use a tool like Buzzsprout, reviewed here.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): cultures (97)