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Sqworl - Caleb Brown

Grades
K to 12
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Sqworl is a site for combining multiple links into one single link. Registration is required; however, it is very easy. You create a username and password, add your email and ...more
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Sqworl is a site for combining multiple links into one single link. Registration is required; however, it is very easy. You create a username and password, add your email and it is done. After registering, a personal homepage is created, this is where the magic can begin! The homepage is where groups will be created to combine url's. Then adding some groups of link begins the process of creating groups. At this point a title is given to the group being created (examples might be Math sites, American History, etc.). The final step is to add a short description. After choosing start, simply copy and paste the url you want to use and add a short description and click finish. Once a group is created, it can be shared through the url shown on the page. Sqworl also has a bookmarklet that can be added to the browser toolbar making it easier to add items to your groups without having to open the homepage. There is also a mobile app for iPhone.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bookmarks (47), curation (27)

In the Classroom

In the classroom use this site to combine url's of online class projects into one group. Create a group of resources for students or parents for different subjects and share the url through your classroom website or newsletter. Create a group with videos relating to classroom content. Create a classroom account and let students add resources they have found to groups to share with others. Show students how to follow other groups on Sqworl and share resources by creating their own groups. Share this site with others in your building or district as an easy way to save and share online resources.

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Braineos - Braineos.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Use this fun and easy flashcard site to learn information and concepts. Create flashcards easily or use the search function to find existing sets that can be used for study. ...more
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Use this fun and easy flashcard site to learn information and concepts. Create flashcards easily or use the search function to find existing sets that can be used for study. Play the "Challenge" feature to compete with friends for high scores. Play a variety of games for review of the flashcard set. The variety of options keeps the learning experience fresh.

tag(s): flash cards (39), game based learning (159), grammar (134), operations (75), verbs (27)

In the Classroom

Have students or groups of students create flashcards for study. Provide the link to this site or ready made flashcard sets for study as needed. Create flashcards for vocabulary words in all subjects, math facts, or any other material that needs to be learned.

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4teachers.org - ALTEC.org

Grades
K to 12
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At 4teachers.org find resources to help infuse and develop your classroom technology with online tools and resources for teachers and students. Discover ways to integrate technology...more
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At 4teachers.org find resources to help infuse and develop your classroom technology with online tools and resources for teachers and students. Discover ways to integrate technology with teacher success stories, technology assessment, resources in Spanish, and technology use policies and safety. Educator's resources include: explore assessment, technology planning, special needs, assistive technology, grant resources, and bilingual tutorials.

You will also find links to make your own rubrics (or adapt others), adapt or create problem-based checklists, find Webquests or Thinkquests, find tools for students to write persuasively, and you can view online lessons or create your own. Those are just a few of the resources you'll find at 4teachers.org. Enjoy 4teachers video channel to see tutorials and educational videos. You might also consider joining in a weekly teacher blog on structured topics and see the featured site of the week.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): note taking (33), persuasive writing (51), rubrics (30), spanish (97)

In the Classroom

This site is a great site to begin with basic understanding of technology in education. Tutorials explain many of the basics educators must have. Ready to use lessons, rubrics, and calendar resources are easily available. This is also a great site for Spanish resources. Share with colleagues to help boost your technology savvy classroom!

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ThatQuiz - ThatQuiz

Grades
3 to 12
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ThatQuiz is an online assessment tool for teachers of all subjects and grade levels. Create an account to gain access to record keeping tools. You can make your own tests ...more
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ThatQuiz is an online assessment tool for teachers of all subjects and grade levels. Create an account to gain access to record keeping tools. You can make your own tests using questions within the site. Students do not need to register since additional features are only for teachers. After choosing a category, different options are available within each of the quizzes to increase difficulty and add features. Quizzes can be timed or completed at the students' own pace. There is also an option to create a url for an individual quiz that can be linked to Facebook or Twitter accounts.

tag(s): africa (140), angles (51), asia (70), cells (82), charts and graphs (163), conversions (32), europe (71), exponents (35), factors (28), fractions (164), french (71), geometric shapes (132), german (45), human body (92), inequalities (22), measurement (129), money (121), north america (13), place value (36), probability (94), quiz (63), quizzes (83), spanish (97), time (89)

In the Classroom

Assign quizzes to students to complete on classroom computers or in computer labs. Modify activities for different student levels. Create a teacher account and modify quizzes to meet your own needs. Challenge students to complete quizzes and then increase the difficulty level. Share this link on your classroom website for students to access (to practice skills) while both in and out of the classroom. Consider allowing students to create quizzes for each other using a class account during review times or in small groups. It is much more fun to "study" by creating a quiz!

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ESL video - ESL Video

Grades
5 to 12
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This site features a video collection for second language learners. It allows you to select short videos on a wide variety of subjects for classroom use. There are also pre-written...more
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This site features a video collection for second language learners. It allows you to select short videos on a wide variety of subjects for classroom use. There are also pre-written quizzes -- or you can prepare your own quiz about the video. Students can view, test, and receive the results of their quizzes from any computer; results appear immediately. Videos and quizzes are available at four levels. The same type of offering can be used in French, Spanish, German, and other languages. You can simply set up a class group and students can use a log in to access the videos and quizzes. You can also add your own video selections and quizzes to the site. The parameters ask that videos be rated up to PG-13 only. Registration is free. You can make comments on the videos and quizzes. Other offerings of the site include transcripts of the videos and culture notes with relevant information, as well as grammar, vocabulary, slang, and pronunciation help.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): listening (69), vocabulary (235), vocabulary development (87)

In the Classroom

Assign these videos and quizzes to ESL/ELL students and world language students to help improve their listening comprehension and vocabulary in a fun way! This activity would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops. Check with your administrators to be sure they allow students to make comments on such sites. Registration requires an email. If you choose to have students register individually, read tips for safely managing email registrations here. Encourage students to find appropriate videos their teachers can share; students could get wonderful listening and writing practice by preparing their own quizzes. Teachers can then submit them if approved.

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Documentary Heaven - Documentary Heaven

Grades
6 to 12
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This site has embedded videos from over 1600 documentaries located all over the internet. These videos are not necessarily "short" clips. Some are longer than 15 minutes. Search the...more
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This site has embedded videos from over 1600 documentaries located all over the internet. These videos are not necessarily "short" clips. Some are longer than 15 minutes. Search the videos via several methods: browse the library, most popular, recent videos, or by categories. The categories vary greatly and include the bullying of those with disabilities, 9/11, aftermath of the Japan Tsunami, import and export of oil, and countless other topics. Each video comes with a short explanation and ratings (out of 10 stars). Viewers can also leave their own rating. Many include suggestions for related videos. Be aware: some of topics may not be suitable for the classroom. Please preview before (or IF) you choose to allow students to peruse on their own. You may want to share only specific videos with the class. It has been noted that this website opens rather slowly at the busy times of the day. But it is WELL worth the wait. Note that videos are recommended for inclusion by the video creators, so there could be very strong bias in documentary presentations. What better way to challenge students to stop and ask, "What is the source of this information and can I trust it fully?"
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): archeology (23), biographies (88), bullying (51), disabilities (26), psychology (65), senses (18), sexuality (16), tsunamis (14)

In the Classroom

View videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector to correspond with classroom lessons. Be sure to discuss the source and possible bias of any documentary. "Documentary" does not necessarily mean "trustworthy" or "unbiased"! Link to specific videos on your classroom computer, website, or blog for students to view on their own. Assign different topics and allow students to choose a documentary to use as part of their research. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): PBWorks (wiki), Site123 (blog), Renderforest (newscast video), and Genial.ly (poster/bulletin board).

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WISC-Online - Wisconsin Technical College System

Grades
7 to 12
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Looking for review materials for a variety of classes? Use for a wide range of curriculum topics. (A "learning object" is any kind interactive activity, animation, video, audio ...more
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Looking for review materials for a variety of classes? Use for a wide range of curriculum topics. (A "learning object" is any kind interactive activity, animation, video, audio file, etc, that can be used for learning.) This site is great for introductory, reinforcement, or review materials. Find most of the relevant topics by using the search bar. Choose from many subjects such as biology, biochemistry, chemistry, math, sociology, world languages, and written communication, among others. Gifted students or those who learn well independently can study Chinese and other topics not easily available in their school using WISC-Onkine.

tag(s): animals (266), business (50), cells (82), chinese (43), grammar (134), grammar review (30), life cycles (20), microscopes (9), plants (138), psychology (65), sentences (23), sociology (23), speech (68)

In the Classroom

Find a variety of topics for each subject area. For example, use WISC-Online in biology topics: How to use a Microscope, Life Cycles of Animals and Plants, and Cell Division. Choose from many others. Use as an introduction to a new unit. Additionally, these topics can be used for reinforcement or as a review. Under the Written Communication subject you will find 50 activities from parts of speech, commonly confused words, to how to summarize, brainstorm, and many others. Share direct URLs to specific review activities to help students who need extra practice or as links on a class web page or wiki for all students to access outside of class. Encourage students to comment on your wiki about the activities they found most helpful in explaining tough concepts (use the discussion tab).

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Cinco de Mayo Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Cinco de Mayo in this collection from TeachersFirst. ...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Cinco de Mayo in this collection from TeachersFirst.

tag(s): hispanic (21), holidays (122), mexico (28)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Cinco de Mayo to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons.

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Read the Words - Educational Utilities

Grades
1 to 12
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Read the Words is a site that allows students to submit almost any text material and HEAR it read aloud. The languages offered include English, Spanish, and French. You ...more
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Read the Words is a site that allows students to submit almost any text material and HEAR it read aloud. The languages offered include English, Spanish, and French. You can select the speed at which the text will be read and use a wide variety of formats including Microsoft Word, PDF, a website URL, anything copied and pasted, or from RSS feeds. Likewise, students can listen to the oral text online, download it to the desktop or MP3 players, post readings online in several forms, and even create podcasts with the selected material. Users can even modify the reading avatar's appearance by selecting from those available, both male and female. Beware: inappropriate words will not be filtered, and anything typed is pronounced.

tag(s): listening (69), podcasts (65), text to speech (16)

In the Classroom

Primary or resource reading teachers may want to use this site for students to practice reading fluency "side by side" with the online avatar. World language teachers and teachers of limited English speakers will love this website as reinforcement for language learning. Students can listen as they read. They can also practice their pronunciation and compare it with any selected avatar. Use the oral readings on an interactive whiteboard or projector (with speakers turned up) for class dictations and discussion starters. Preview the vocabulary words in any file or website by selecting the read/edit option before students listen to it. Check school policies regarding individual student accounts on web sites. Here are some tips on managing student memberships that require email. Beware - if you are having students use this site, "inappropriate" words will not be filtered, and anything typed is pronounced. So be sure students are aware of guidelines and consequences.

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Six Word Stories - Pete Berg

Grades
5 to 12
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Six Word Stories challenges students to create a meaningful "narrative," book summary, reaction to a movie, or other literary reflection in just six words. Based on a famous one by...more
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Six Word Stories challenges students to create a meaningful "narrative," book summary, reaction to a movie, or other literary reflection in just six words. Based on a famous one by Ernest Hemingway, the site collects the writings of amateurs and professionals. Readers can search it by theme or by genre or author (including famous ones). Links include places to try similar endeavors including 2-sentence stories and fifty-word stories. Please preview: at the time of this review, there was one inappropriate comment with a curse word.

tag(s): Teacher Utilities (124), writing (286)

In the Classroom

Have a contest and challenge your students to submit the best 6-word story after finishing a novel, play, or poem. Try creating some together on interactive whiteboard, brainstorming first to generate possible words from which to choose, then dragging to rearrange them into a meaningful story. Make a six word story "sidebar" at the side of your class where students can work together with a partner on the IWB to generate new stories as summaries for an act of a Shakespeare play or in response to a sonnet. In a journalism class, try this for a twist on headline writing. Introduce poetry writing by having your students try their hand at expressing an emotional experience in just 6 words. ESL/ELL students often create unusual combinations in writing; why not have them display their creativity here in an acceptable form? Share this site with world language teachers also.

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Flashcard Stash - WharfWorks LLC

Grades
2 to 12
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Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. Flashcard Stash is not just another flashcard maker. Here you certainly can make your own flashcards,...more
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Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. Flashcard Stash is not just another flashcard maker. Here you certainly can make your own flashcards, but you can also find ready-made flashcards for 100 Common SAT words, 501 Spanish or French Verbs, 100 words you should know, and Words to impress your friends. You can choose to hear the words pronounced correctly, too. Flashcard Stash also uses multiple choice and fill in the blank questions, and calculates the optimal time for review. Teachers get a free account that can create classes and share lists of flashcards with your students.

tag(s): flash cards (39)

In the Classroom

Joining as a teacher you will get all the perks for free. You can create your own personalized lists and focus only on words your class needs to work on.

Change the way students learn and study vocabulary by giving it to them the way they want it with interactive flashcards and self assessment quizzes. Demonstrate with the whole class on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and use it that way periodically whenever you have a few teachable moments to fill. Embed it on your class web page for students to access frequently.

Facts, spelling words, vocabulary, definitions, foreign language, root words, historical names, all can easily be typed into this flashcard format for any subject. Plan a system of tags for sets on related material so they can be grouped. For example: tag all geography terms "geography" and all words from the same science chapter using the chapter number or topic. In the computer lab, using a projector or interactive whiteboard, walk your students through making their own sets of flashcards or use teacher created flashcards for student and group use. Students or parents can then access their electronic cards at home or anywhere. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small student groups to create verbal and visual card sets to accompany the chapters they are studying. Involve the students in the process so they can reinforce new content as they create their own "study materials."

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TV411 - Math - Adult Literacy Media Alliance

Grades
4 to 12
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TV411 offers lessons and games covering math topics from calculating area to reading a pay stub. Each lesson is offered in a slide format beginning with an introduction to the ...more
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TV411 offers lessons and games covering math topics from calculating area to reading a pay stub. Each lesson is offered in a slide format beginning with an introduction to the activity, followed by questions to answer. Upon answering questions, feedback is provided. If the answer was incorrect, an explanation of the correct solution is provided. The site also provides several math games practicing fractions, ratio, data, and percent. Spanish and ESL/ELL teachers will want to note that there is a small sample of lessons available in Spanish on the site. Many of the topics are also applicable in Family and Consumer Science or business classes, as well.

tag(s): charts and graphs (163), financial literacy (94)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as practice or review of current math topics. Provide a link to games on classroom computers for student practice. Spanish teachers may want students to complete a lesson in Spanish to provide real-world language practice. Share this site with parents through your classroom website or blog to provide review materials at home.

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TypeIt - Tomasz P. Szynalski

Grades
4 to 12
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Type characters and accents in any foreign language simply by clicking them on screen using TypeIt. Especially handy for those of us who do not know the keyboard shortcuts (or ...more
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Type characters and accents in any foreign language simply by clicking them on screen using TypeIt. Especially handy for those of us who do not know the keyboard shortcuts (or ASCI codes) for accents and unlauts, this handy tool lets you compose in a text box, then simply copy/paste the text into your "destination." Now you can write text to include in the many online tools reviewed by the TeachersFirst Edge and include the accurate accents and diacritical markings vitally important to language learning. Simply keep Type It open in one tab and your tool of choice open in another. Prepare the text in TypeIt and copy/paste to text boxes in any tool or even in PowerPoint, Word, or interactive whiteboard software. Type It is easier to use than "insert character" in most word processing programs, as well!

tag(s): french (71), german (45), spanish (97), spelling (90)

In the Classroom

Have students creating projects in your language class? Now online posters made using Sway, reviewed here, or interactive timelines created using a site such as Sutori, reviewed here, can include the markings that are part of the language. Mark this one in your favorites and make it available from your class web page for students to use it any time, in and out of class.

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Soft Schools - Soft Schools

Grades
K to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Soft Schools provides interactive quizzes and games for math, language arts, science, holidays, phonics, French, social studies, and more. Worksheets categorized under grade and subject...more
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Soft Schools provides interactive quizzes and games for math, language arts, science, holidays, phonics, French, social studies, and more. Worksheets categorized under grade and subject level make this a great teacher resource.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): calculators (38), grammar (134), quiz (63), quizzes (83)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on classroom computers and use it as a center. Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge prior to introducing a unit. Use it as a cumulative assessment by having students independently take a quiz and then print the results. Students can complete the quizzes and games independently or with a partner. After assessing students, create worksheets for students who may need more practice. Be sure to list this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom. Find a variety of calculators including windchill, cube root, and more.

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Sentence Scrambler - altastic.com

Grades
1 to 10
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This sentence scrambler allows teachers to type or paste in as many sentences as they would like and scrambles the words at random. Any punctuation typed in remains attached to ...more
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This sentence scrambler allows teachers to type or paste in as many sentences as they would like and scrambles the words at random. Any punctuation typed in remains attached to the word it is next to. Students can then try to unscramble the sentences. Options include putting slashes or dashes between words to make them easier to distinguish. After typing/pasting the desired number of sentences, teachers should check the box marked "Add Numbers" in order to have the sentences separated and numbered. Sentences in Spanish can also be scrambled. Rearranging the words is not part of the interactive activity.

tag(s): grammar (134), inferencing (5), sentences (23), sight words (22)

In the Classroom

ESL and ELL students will find this activity useful for practicing correct English word order. Primary teachers can also use it to teach basic sight words, sequencing, and inferencing skills with short sentences. After typing/pasting in the sentences, copy the scrambled word box on an interactive whiteboard or projector and have students write or type the paragraph in the correct order.

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Sporcle - Sporcle, Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
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Try these interactives, available in a variety of subjects: Geography, History, Language, Literature, Movies, Music, Religion, Science, and others. Sporcle tests memorized knowledge...more
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Try these interactives, available in a variety of subjects: Geography, History, Language, Literature, Movies, Music, Religion, Science, and others. Sporcle tests memorized knowledge against a timer. Accessing the comments below can lead to spoilers that reveal answers. Become stumped during a game? Click on "Give up" to end the game and reveal the rest of the answers. Teachers should preview and provide the DIRECT link to the games or section (such as geography) they wish students to use. The "popular" listings and some advertising on this site may include questionable content for classrooms. . These games would be great study tools for students, both in and out of the classroom!

tag(s): elements (32), literature (220), maps (212), phonics (47), presidents (115), vowels (7)

In the Classroom

Share specific activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Teachers should provide the address URL of the actual game to prevent students from accessing other games (or advertisements that you may wish to avoid). Use these interactives as individual activities or in groups to learn a variety of data. For example, play "Element by Symbol" to review the names of the elements of the periodic table by knowing the names of the symbols. This game entertained this science teacher editor and her chemistry student son for fifteen minutes. Enjoy other science games or in subjects such as Geography, History, or Literature. Use the unknown answers that are shown at the end to create study cards in order to improve scores the next time.

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Bab.la - bab.la

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Need to translate words or phrases into another language? Use this free and easy to use site for translations. in various languages (Spanish, Chinese, Turkish, Russian, Romanian, Portuguese,...more
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Need to translate words or phrases into another language? Use this free and easy to use site for translations. in various languages (Spanish, Chinese, Turkish, Russian, Romanian, Portuguese, Polish, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Hindi, German, and French). View dictionaries that exist between languages, hear audio of the translations, take quizzes, or try language games. Students can play language activities such as hangman, scrambled words, memorize, or match it, as well. Customize each game by clicking "change" next to the "settings." Choose different languages, ease of play, and categories of words.

tag(s): chinese (43), italian (26), japan (55), japanese (46), korea (18), portuguese (21), russia (33), russian (23)

In the Classroom

Use this translator for understanding foreign words or how words compare between different languages. Use this in a world cultures class when looking at other cultures and to learn or use basics of their language. Have students create online books defining newly discovered words (in other languages). Use an online book making tool such as Bookemon reviewed here.

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Coffee Break Languages - Radio Lingua

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This site offers FREE audio episodes teaching numerous languages: Irish, Italian, Polish, Danish, Russian, Greek, French, and countless others! Featured shows have titles like "Coffee...more
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This site offers FREE audio episodes teaching numerous languages: Irish, Italian, Polish, Danish, Russian, Greek, French, and countless others! Featured shows have titles like "Coffee Break Spanish" and "One Minute French." Some of the programs require students to subscribe using a simple form, but most do not require any registration. They can then search the entire lesson content or just search by language. Focus languages include Spanish, French, German, Italian, English, and many other languages, primarily European, though Mandarin and Japanese podcasts are also available. Students will love being able to load the lessons on their Ipods, mobile phones, and computers! The "Guided Tour" section of the page allows students and teachers to learn how to use the site and focus on whatever their particular aims for study are. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): german (45), italian (26), japan (55), japanese (46), podcasts (65)

In the Classroom

Share this site, on your interactive whiteboard or projector, with world language students, particularly independent learners at whom the site is aimed. Students getting ready to take school-sponsored trips to European countries, for example, could benefit from the quick introduction and easy access this site provides to simple language lessons. ESL and ELL students will enjoy using the English podcasts as supplements to their in-school English instruction. Why not challenge students to create their own language podcasts using a site such as Podomatic (reviewed here).

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U.S.A. Learns - U.S. Dept of Ed

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
    
This site includes FREE lessons in English and Spanish. Prospective English or Spanish learners start lessons with free registration. Registration is not required to USE the site, but...more
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This site includes FREE lessons in English and Spanish. Prospective English or Spanish learners start lessons with free registration. Registration is not required to USE the site, but it is required to track progress. When registering, an email address is optional. After registration, students can choose a course at the appropriate level. There are 3 in English and 3 in Spanish. Students can then choose the specific lessons and follow its specific activities in order for each featured topic. Learning activities include videos, transcripts for the video text, questions, listening, stories, vocabulary practice, writing exercises, quizzes, and even voice recordings for pronunciation practice. Although registration is not absolutely necessary, doing so allows students to keep a record of the activities they have already completed. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): pronunciation (34), spanish (97)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous site for ESL, ELL, learning support, and students learning Spanish! Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this site with Spanish students who do well at working on learning independently. ESL and ELL students will also benefit from going through the lessons, individually or in pairs. Teachers can register independently from their students and keep track of learner progress and participation. As students learn new vocabulary words, challenge cooperative learning groups to create an online book sharing their newfound vocabulary. Use a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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This I Believe, Inc. - Jay Allison, NPR, et. al.

Grades
7 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site offers essay-writing tips, podcasts, and more. Useful across a wide array of humanities topics, including English, social studies, art, music, religion, and speech, this site...more
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This site offers essay-writing tips, podcasts, and more. Useful across a wide array of humanities topics, including English, social studies, art, music, religion, and speech, this site is an inspiration to students and can serve as an essay starter, a discussion starter, or contemporary information about politics, economics, and the world. On its home page it states that this is "an international project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values that guide their daily lives." There are essays from the 1950's when the first incarnation of this idea was heard on the radio from famed journalist Edward R. Murrow. There are essays from those who are famous and those you never heard of. All of the essays are short--usually no more than 400 words. You can hear some of them as they were first broadcast on NPR, and there is a general podcast you can play which defines the site. Anyone can submit their own "This I Believe" essay as long as it follows the guidelines given, and they include essay-writing tips and advanced essay searches to assist anyone interested. The site includes special features which deal with specific topics and there are ideas for educators, students, and community leaders. The printable curricula require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): 1950s (7), writing (286)

In the Classroom

Searching the "For Educators" page gives you a wide variety of ideas for using this site and these essays. Since students enjoy using first person point of view in their writing, this might be an inspiration for some. You can use some of these essays as conversation starters on topics you are studying in class. (Example: Penn Jillette wrote his essay stating that he believes there is no god. This could be related to many books studied, such as 1984 or Brave New World.) Have students write their essays as blog entries or record them as podcasts using a tool such as Podomatic, reviewed here, or as an illustrated essay using ThingLink, reviewed here. Spanish teachers will want to explore the options to listen to or write essays in Spanish, as well.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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