Ideas and resources for parents of ESL/ELL students

These reviewed resources offer information so share with parents of ESL/ELL students. Some are resources parents can use at home with children to reinforce language skills. Others include suggested activities ESL/ELL learners can begin in school and share with parents. Be sure to read the "In the Classroom" suggestions for ways these reviewed resources can build language skills both at home and at school.

 

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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 (169), financial literacy (92)

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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Symbaloo EDU - Symbaloo BV

Grades
K to 12
17 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create, find, and share visually appealing Webmixes (web based screens of link "tiles") to share web resources. Find the "Tour" (a green tile with a red circle) to learn more ...more
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Create, find, and share visually appealing Webmixes (web based screens of link "tiles") to share web resources. Find the "Tour" (a green tile with a red circle) to learn more about Symbaloo EDU or begin exploring color-coded links on your own. Choose the EDU Tools WebMix to find links to classroom resources for social networking, video and image tools, remote teaching, and much more. Other WebMixes designed specifically for educators include widgets for classroom use, educational headlines, and much more. Tailor web resources to your individual need by creating your own WebMixes. Add tiles to instantly connect students with the resources you choose. Accounts are free but require a password (and email verification). Click "Edit WebMix" to change the background, rename the webmix, and edit the tiles. Link tiles to website URL's or RSS feed links. Hover over a tile to bring up a simple menu. Click "edit" to paste the URL of the resource, enter a title, and change icons and colors. Select any name to be displayed on the tile. Be sure to click "Done editing" when finished, and then "Share" to choose publicly or privately with friends. Use the embed code to embed directly into your class website or blog. Download the free iPhone or Android apps for use on mobile phones or use Symbaloo in your tablet browser as it has been maximized for use on these devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bookmarks (46), curation (35), DAT device agnostic tool (144), gamification (75)

In the Classroom

Be sure to know the URL's of the resources you are planning to share or have them open in other tabs to copy/paste. To share you must be able to copy/paste URLs (web addresses). Have older students create their own webmixes, but this resource is best used as a teacher sharing tool for sharing links, RSS feeds, and other resources for students to use in specific projects or as general course links. If shared with the world, the webmix can be viewed by others and is public.

Create a webmix of the most used sites for your class and first demonstrate how the webmix works on a projector or interactive whiteboard if you have special instructions or color coding for its use. Some examples include links to copyright free images, online textbooks, or online tools such as Google Drive/Docs, Google Drawings, Prezi, and more. Link to teacher web pages, webquests, resource sites for your subject, and any other resource that is helpful for students. Consider creating a login for the whole class to update with suggestions from class members. Use this AS your class website. Color code the tiles on a webmix for younger, non-reader, or ESL/ELL students. For example, color each subject differently from the others. Differentiate by color coding varying levels of skills practice at a classroom computer center or to distinguish homework practice sites from in-class sites. Differentiate difficulty levels using the various colors enabling you to list resources for both your learning support students and gifted students and all in between. Use color to organize tools for different projects or individual students. You may want to share Symbaloo EDU with parents at Back to School Night and the color-coding system for differentiation. This will help parents (and students) find what sites are ideal for their levels. Be sure to link or embed your webmix on a computer center in your room for easy access. Share a review site webmix for parents and students to access at home before tests, as well. Team up with other teachers in your subject/grade to create chapter by chapter webmixes for all your students. If you are just starting with Symbaloo, this is a simple way to differentiate, however, Symbaloo now has a Lesson Plans tool (also called Learning Paths), reviewed here, to help you differentiate for individual or groups of students.

Challenge your gifted students to curate and collaborate on their own webmixes as a curriculum extension activity on topics such as climate change or pros and cons of genetically engineered food. They can use color coding to sort sites by bias (or neutrality) as well as to group subtopics under the overall theme. Use the student-made webmixes with other students to raise the overall level of discussion in your class or as an extra credit challenge. If you embed the webmix in a class wiki, all students can respond with questions and comments for the gifted students to moderate and reply, creating a student-led community of learners.

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English Club - Englishclub.com

Grades
2 to 12
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English Club provides ESL and ELL resources and lessons for both students and teachers. There are also games, further resources, idioms, and even the "Learning English Video Project."...more
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English Club provides ESL and ELL resources and lessons for both students and teachers. There are also games, further resources, idioms, and even the "Learning English Video Project." Students can compare their English-learning experience with students from around the world; they can also create their own page to be hosted by the site. Lessons include the standard vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and reference tools. By providing both chat capability and an English question "hotline," the site would work for students learning in groups as well as individually. Games on the site are language based, educational, and designed to reinforce the language lessons. Other interactive features include a weekly news summary and activities and an opportunity to discuss via ESL forums. Free registration ensures students can take advantage of all the site offerings. Students may select their native language for website directions if needed; languages include standard European and Asian ones as well as Arabic.

tag(s): grammar (133), speaking (22)

In the Classroom

Check with administrators to be sure policy allows for students to create their own web pages attached to this site, to participate in chats with other students and teachers, and to be a member of a conversation forum. You should also obtain written parent permission. To fully register with the site you need a valid email address. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. If you have a number of ESL/ELL students, make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers or share it on your class web page to use it as a center. This site's activities would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops.

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Tar Heel Reader - University of North Caroline

Grades
K to 12
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Find free on-line books perfect for emergent readers. The author of the site, the Center for Literacy and Disabilities studies at the University of North Carolina, wants to provide...more
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Find free on-line books perfect for emergent readers. The author of the site, the Center for Literacy and Disabilities studies at the University of North Carolina, wants to provide free resources to give everyone an opportunity to learn to read and write. For free registration you will need a code. Just email them and it will come within 24 hours. All books are free and available for download as slideshows using PowerPoint or Impress. Book topics include biographies, fairy tales, history, science, math, nursery rhymes, poetry, food, animals, and more! All stories have speech enabling, can come in as many as fourteen different languages, and are compatible with touch screens. Since a wide range of age groups use this site, they have a rating system to suggest what is suitable for younger readers. Tar Heel Reader is also a great way to write books. Upload images from your computer or Flicker, add text, create, and share student stories with an authentic audience of readers. Tar Heel Reader is a great way to engage students with reading material, increase class participation, and create inclusive instruction for those with illiteracy or learning disabilities.

** This site does contain some materials NOT suitable for all classrooms. Be sure to read the "rating" system, and contribute your own opinions (as the ratings are only as reliable as the pool of contributing voters). Books rated 'E' are meant for everyone but a 'C' means to use caution as it may not be proper material for some. Determine what titles are suitable and save them to the favorites file for students to access.

tag(s): book lists (162), digital storytelling (144), literacy (110), writing (317)

In the Classroom

Increase your big book collection ten fold by projecting Tar Heel Readers onto an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use interactive shared reading lessons to strengthen student recognition of common sight words, concepts of print, decoding skills, and use syntax cues and unlock the meaning of text. Ask students to circle known sight words, count the number of words in a sentence, trace capital letters, or point to the first letter of a word during a choral read. Help ESL/ELL students by creating books out of photos from class field trips, events, or experiments. Integrate text that uses key vocabulary words and creates reading materials that are both relevant to grade level curricular standards and match your student's readability level. All books you publish on the web site are public domain and available to all other users. Be sure to get parent permission before publishing student books on-line. In order to create a book, users will need to register. Unfortunately, this requires users to email gb@cs.unc.edu to request of an invitation code. With this code, simply create a username, submit your name, and email address. Set up a single teacher account and have all the students use that login to avoid safety concerns. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further reading practice.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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LearnEnglish Kids - British Council

Grades
3 to 12
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Here you will find a plethora of ESL, ELL and English language activities, each of which in turn has a plethora of its own activities! For example, the short story ...more
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Here you will find a plethora of ESL, ELL and English language activities, each of which in turn has a plethora of its own activities! For example, the short story about the magic carpet ride is like a picture book with animated characters, is interactive, and the story is read out loud. There are activities to print to go with the story, there are online interactive activities, and, even before the story begins, there is an interactive picture/word matching activity. Last, at the end of the story, is a short writing prompt. Wow! That was just one short story!

The categories on the site include "Play a game," "Print some activities to do," "Listen to a song," "Read a story," "Practice your writing," and "Find lots more activities." AND, each one of these categories is multi-leveled.

tag(s): songs (44), writing (317)

In the Classroom

This extensive site will make the life of the ESL, ELL, or remedial reading teacher so much easier! Though intended for ESL/ELL teachers, this site can be used by any teacher who is teaching elementary reading and writing. It would also be good for remedial readers. In some parts, i.e. the interactives, you may want to pair up a proficient reader with the ESL/ELL student or remedial reader. The reading of the stories could be done with a projector or interactive whiteboard for a small group or the whole class, and then small groups of students could brainstorm the writing prompts at the end on an interactive white board. Share some of the activities with parents, as well, for at home practice with ESL/ELL students and their family members. Be sure to include this link on your class website.

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Free Magazines Online - James Hubbs

Grades
7 to 12
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This site has a number of current magazines available online including Forbes, Scientific American, Men's Health, and countless others, organized by category. Many could be used for...more
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This site has a number of current magazines available online including Forbes, Scientific American, Men's Health, and countless others, organized by category. Many could be used for educational purposes (see the Science & Learning section, for example). Other general topics include Arts, Business, Computers, News, Sports, and more. Besides regular magazines, there are a number of columns and blogs by famous people. A few magazines, such as Forbes and Scientific American, display feature article titles when you click on their names, but most open to the magazine home page in a new window.

tag(s): blogs (65), news (229), newspapers (91)

In the Classroom

For ESL/ELL students, use magazines at this site to teach vocabulary and American culture. For current events classes, display the latest news online on your projector or interactive whiteboard, finding it quickly with just a few clicks. Have groups explore current news headlines and compare coverage or create their own videos (news or infomercials) using a site such as Teachers.TV reviewed here. This may also be a link that you would want to list on your class website for both students and parents to use at home. If you require current events article summaries each week, your students can use this site to find the latest at no cost. Reading teachers can easily find passages to use for comprehension skills such as main idea, summarizing, inferencing and more, all from current articles and ready to project on your interactive whiteboard for underlining, highlighting and discussion.

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Blabberize - Mobouy Inc.

Grades
1 to 12
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Blabberize is a photo editing tool that creates talking animations or a video clip from a photo or other image. Browse the ready-made blabbers or create new ones. Upload an ...more
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Blabberize is a photo editing tool that creates talking animations or a video clip from a photo or other image. Browse the ready-made blabbers or create new ones. Upload an image from your computer, select an area to become the talking "mouth," and record sound using your microphone or upload a short .mp4 file from your computer. Make sure to "allow" access to your computer's microphone. Narrate your photo within the allotted 30 seconds, then save when complete. Options include marking your blab "mature" or "private" (not shown on the "latest" pages and other public areas). Share completed blabs via email or embedd in another web page, blog, or wiki. Users unfamiliar with copy/pasting embed code can simple share by the URL of the blab's page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (62), back to school (63), communication (133), firstday (22), images (257), photography (118)

In the Classroom

If your students have never tried to make a Blabber, select Browse to share the an introduction blab on the home page on a projector or interactive whiteboard. You may want to create one of your own to share, and then have the class create one, all projected on your whiteboard. Browse a few examples first to get ideas on how to make a mouth on your photo to move and "talk." Be sure to turn up your sound! Have a student demonstrate uploading an image from a safe and legal source. You may want to use a single, whole-class account you create with your "extra" email account. Be sure to spell out consequences of inappropriate use/content of blabs. Have students enter the site through the "Make" page link provided in this review to steer clear of the "latest" blabs. You may want your students to make their blabs "private" so they do not show on the public areas, depending on school policies. If you are implementing technology in your classroom, this is an augmentation tool.

Blab the homework directions on your teacher web page. Have your students use photos or digital drawings to "blab"! Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then make it "speak." Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters tell about themselves. This tool is great for gifted students to go above and beyond the basics with an independent project. Create entire conversation sequences of blabs between people in world language or ENL/ESL classes (with students speaking in the language, of course), then embed them in a wiki. Have speech/language students make blabs to practice articulation and document progress over time. Promote oral reading fluency with student-read blabs. Create book "commercials." Have students blab what the author may have been thinking as he/she wrote a poem or literary selection or as an artist painted. Blab politicians' major platform planks during campaigns for current events. Blab the steps to math problem solving. Even primary students can make an animal blab about his habitat if you set up the blab as a center. Make visual vocabulary/terminology sentences with an appropriate character using the term in context (a beaker explaining how it is different from a flask?) Students could also take pictures of themselves doing a lab and then blab the pictures to explain the concepts. This would be a great first day project (introducing yourself and breaking the ice). Share the class blabs on your class web page or wiki! Give directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to grab parents' attention for important information.

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Do2Learn - Do2Learn

Grades
K to 8
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"This web site is dedicated to those individuals who see the world in different ways." Find activities, printables, and interactive games to help students with exceptionalities; learn...more
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"This web site is dedicated to those individuals who see the world in different ways." Find activities, printables, and interactive games to help students with exceptionalities; learn about basics, master organization, and deal with interpersonal challenges on this site. Many of the resources are useful for "regular ed" as well as special ed. Although the site includes items for sale, there are many lesson plans and interactives offered for free. See the Disabilities menu for quick explanations of various disabilities: OCD, Asperger's, Autism, PDD, Learning disabilities, and more. The Games menu offers interactives to help students learn position words (in/out/left/right, etc), facial expressions, emotions, time, first-then-next sequencing, synonyms/antonyms, and more. Check out the safety songs with animated illustrations (turn up your speakers!). The Get Organized menu has some terrific offerings, including an interactive Emotions Color Wheel.

tag(s): aspergers (7), autism (15), emotions (47), empathy (27), safety (71), Special Needs (54)

In the Classroom

Although intended for students with special needs, this site would also be helpful for teaching basic English vocabulary (emotions, facial expressions, positions), for safety lessons during bus safety week, and for ENL/ESL learners. All students benefit from activities that develop empathy for others. The many printables in the free areas will also help you teach basics of any primary classroom. Speech/Language teachers, emotional support teachers, and autistic support teachers will appreciate the many ways to share emotion words, including an interactive facial expression tool and the emotions color wheel. Many activities are well-suited for interactive whiteboard with the student navigating using his/her finger or touch tool. Others would make ideal learning centers at a classroom computer with headphones. Share this site with parents, as well, via a link on your class web page, since many of the activities bear repeating over and over.

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Fingerplays for Young Children - Songs for Teaching

Grades
K to 3
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This subsection of the Songs for Teaching site has excellent chants and other childhood favorite songs which get children moving, speaking, and rhyming. Words to the fingerplays and...more
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This subsection of the Songs for Teaching site has excellent chants and other childhood favorite songs which get children moving, speaking, and rhyming. Words to the fingerplays and songs are copyable, and many contain Quicktime sound excerpt files as well (enough to get you going with the song, though not the complete song). A few even have pictures of someone going through the motions of the song or rhyme. A link to Songs for Early Childhood allows you to see even more action songs. There are even songs to go with class content, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Your kinesthetic learners will retain the concepts in these songs. ESL, ELL, and speech/language students will respond to the music; it aids with articulation, accent development, and memory. This site requires Quicktime. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): plays (27), preK (258), rhymes (21), songs (44)

In the Classroom

Share this link on your teacher web page and/or in a parent newsletter so that parents can use it at home too! Don't forget to turn up your speakers if you are using the music in class. If your class responds very well to using songs, you might try writing lyrics together about something you are studying -- using one of these familiar tunes.

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Online ESL Games - ESL Kids Games

Grades
K to 4
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This site has many games available for downloading including card games, board games, and Valentine's Day bingo. Select a category such as Vocabulary Games, Speaking Games, Grammar...more
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This site has many games available for downloading including card games, board games, and Valentine's Day bingo. Select a category such as Vocabulary Games, Speaking Games, Grammar Games, Scoring Systems, Number Games, and others.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (155)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the games and students expertise in using online material. Put a link to this site for home for parents and children to do together. Speech and language teachers as well as ENL/ESL teachers will love these free games!

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Mrs. P.com - Mrs. P Enterprises, LLC

Grades
K to 9
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You almost want to toast marshmallows on the open fire as you cyber-curl under Mrs. P's feet by the fireplace. No need to bring a book; she has quite a ...more
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You almost want to toast marshmallows on the open fire as you cyber-curl under Mrs. P's feet by the fireplace. No need to bring a book; she has quite a selection. This interactive site will thrill your eager readers for hours. Actress Kathy Kinney tells delightful intro stories and expertly reads the books. Best of all, it's a breeze to navigate. Access the different areas on the site from the menu at the top, or click on Mrs. P to find links to her YouTube videos for the books, the teacher area, and activities and games. Play the Title game as an amusing way to listen to one-liners about the stories at this site. Also, check out Mrs. P's annual writing contest from the home page. If your district blocks YouTube, you may not be able to view them.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): independent reading (86)

In the Classroom

Teachers, check out the link for the writing contest. Submit student stories and Mrs. P. may choose to read them on this site. Be sure to get parental consent before submitting any stories.

What a valuable tool for ESL/ELL students and teachers of emergent readers as students follow the words on the screen as Mrs. P. reads a story. Create a corner in your room to read stories the way Mrs. P. does! Use your first initial, let your imagination run wild, change your accent of course, and you can become another Mrs. P.

Be sure to share this treasure on your teacher web page for students (and parents) to access outside of class. You may find students become interested in some of those "old books" in the library!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Prompts - Creativity-Portal.com

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers writing prompts of many types, from written prompts to line drawings, to photographs, from story starters to articles on the imagination. With plenty of prompts available...more
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This site offers writing prompts of many types, from written prompts to line drawings, to photographs, from story starters to articles on the imagination. With plenty of prompts available at your fingertips, teachers will find inspirational starters in a form which will appeal to all types of students.

There is a submission option at this site. You are able to submit articles or projects, suggest websites with FREE learning content, creativity journey blogs, or inspiring success stories. Before you submit any students' work, be sure to check with your school's Acceptable Use Policy and always get parental permission.

tag(s): drawing (60), journals (16), writing (317), writing prompts (58)

In the Classroom

Use these writing prompts with your ESL or ELL students to get them to incorporate new vocabulary into a written piece. Share the on your teacher web page for all students to use as starters for blog writing or journaling. Have students share their own ideas of writing prompts, drawings, and photos that they feel may help others start writing. Submit students' work and ideas, after the proper precautions have been taken.

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The Monticello Classroom - Thomas Jefferson Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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Invite your students to step into Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and experience colonial life. This educational website is beautifully designed for both students and teachers to use...more
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Invite your students to step into Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and experience colonial life. This educational website is beautifully designed for both students and teachers to use the extensive resources to learn about Jefferson, Monticello, and daily life. The Monticello Classroom provides a student portal with fact and resource sheets, an image gallery, online activities, and a saved favorites section. Web pages offer information by reading levels: elementary, middle, and high school. The image gallery contains a slide show builder for students to create a presentation using the images and copies of primary source documents. The presentations can be saved, printed, or emailed. Students can register for an account to save favorites and other resources. Registration requires a user name, password, first name and last name. Check your school's policies before allowing student accounts, especially with full names! See more hints below.
Teachers can register for a teacher area to create assignments for classes, review the available lesson plans, or build your own, and save your favorites on your personal Monticello Classroom web page. Each class has its own log-in and password and students are able to submit their completed activities to the teacher for review.

tag(s): black history (128), jefferson (18)

In the Classroom

This site can serve a a hub for your unit on colonial life, Jefferson, or even inventors. If you wish your students to register for accounts, be sure to check the students' acceptable use policies or get parent permission in writing. Instead of students using their real first and last names, have students create their own colonial names for registration. Be sure to keep a list of these names to be able to review and assess student work. Give a class introduction to the Monticello Classroom using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL and ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Highlight the vocabulary words in the text as you come to them. Search the lesson plans, and teachers will find a few that will be particularly helpful for Black History month!

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Kids' Vid - Mike Keating

Grades
3 to 8
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Leap into video production with help from the Kids' Vid site! Kids' Vid steps you and your students through the process with tips on scripting, storyboarding, shooting video, and editing...more
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Leap into video production with help from the Kids' Vid site! Kids' Vid steps you and your students through the process with tips on scripting, storyboarding, shooting video, and editing it into a visual masterpiece. The site has classroom ideas, short exercises for story writing and learning video shots, an online storyboard creator, and lots of useful help from experts and kids on how to make the whole process an exciting educational experience.

tag(s): tutorials (54), video (260)

In the Classroom

Start the activity by showing the student-produced videos on the web site. Use the resources on the site for a whole class jig-saw exercise. Assign small groups the task of learning one aspect of the process and then reporting and showing it to the rest of the class. Share the knowledge by creating working groups, which contain an expert from each aspect of the process. Use one of the many class ideas as practice activities for students to learn the finer points of video production before they start their masterpieces.

Video is a great tool for authentic assessment - especially for ESL, ELL, and Special Education students. Think about letting each of your students create a short video about what they know for their parent conference meeting or Open House. Explore the realm of possibilities by having students develop and ask peers a "Question of the Week" and document the responses on video. Let students produce a walking tour of the school and key personnel as an introduction for new students. Post this video on the school website, but check the district and students' Acceptable Use Policies before videoing any student faces. You may want to ask your school's funding sources to consider purchasing a few USB plug-in "flip" video cameras that cost about $100 each so students can do these projects with an "indestructible" tool.

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Owly Comics - Andy Runton

Grades
K to 4
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This cartoon/graphic novel site offers free previews of many wordless comic books and short graphic novels. You can select the regular length or mini-books. Some examples of the stories...more
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This cartoon/graphic novel site offers free previews of many wordless comic books and short graphic novels. You can select the regular length or mini-books. Some examples of the stories include The Way Home, A Time to Be Brave, Bee Nice, and several others. There are twelve lesson plans available for free download at the Teaching link. Pre-readers, ESL and ELL students, and those learning foreign languages will delight in making up the words to go along with the very expressive pictures here. The lesson plans at this website require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): comics and cartoons (54), graphic novels (5), novels (31), vocabulary (236)

In the Classroom

Ask students to dictate captions for these stories, write the captions on strips, and put them with the printed pictures. For students able to write, have them write their own captions. Have a caption-writing contest among pairs of students in the classroom. Have ESL and ELL students write simple captions and learn the words for items in the pictures at the same time. Students in foreign language classes can generate desciptions or dialog to go with the stories. Special ed teachers will appreciate the opportunity for students to "narrate" the comics -- and possibly place pages in sequence -- to develop vocabulary. Use printable versions for take-home work with parents, as well. Challenge students to create their own wordless books. Don't forget to check out the twelve lesson plans available at the
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Open English World - David Rogers and Michael Huskins,

Grades
8 to 12
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This site's free offerings include useful weekly idioms, business expressions to improve vocabulary, and listening activities on current topics. Translations of the listening sentences...more
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This site's free offerings include useful weekly idioms, business expressions to improve vocabulary, and listening activities on current topics. Translations of the listening sentences into the student's first language are optional and include French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and simplified Chinese. Spoken utterances are always in English. Be aware there are some advertisements on this page, but nothing too distracting. Students can complete a free registration at this site, but it is not required. There is a Forum for discussion. See TeachersFirst's safety and use tips for using this site in class under Classroom Use.

tag(s): business (47), chinese (44), french (74), idioms (32), japan (56), japanese (47), korea (19), listening (73), spanish (105)

In the Classroom

Mark this site as a Favorite on your classroom computer or on your teacher web page and assign ESL/ELL students to check it weekly for a new idiomatic expression. Newer ESL and ELL students may find the translation feature helpful. The foreign language options could be useful in a German, French, Spanish, or Chinese class. Check your school policies on allowing students to participate in the forum area, and obtain written parent permission before students log on. You may want to use the forum as a whole-class activity with a teacher account. Monitor the discussion boards for a week or two before deciding if they are appropriate for your school situation.

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Telephoning English - English Portal.com

Grades
2 to 8
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Students learn appropriate language to use when telephoning and also begin to understand voice mail messages at this site designed for ESL and ELL students. Since using the telephone...more
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Students learn appropriate language to use when telephoning and also begin to understand voice mail messages at this site designed for ESL and ELL students. Since using the telephone is a big challenge when learning a new language, this site will be extremely helpful for newcomers. There are three levels of difficulty available.

tag(s): listening (73)

In the Classroom

Have your students practice the language on this site in a simulated telephone conversation. Have them record the voice mail messages and then play them for other students to respond to. Share this site on your class website or in your class newsletter so ESL parents can benefit from understanding telephone conversation better, too. Teachers of world languages may wish to use this site as a model to create similar information for their students of French, German, Spanish, and other world languages. Special ed teachers working on life skills will find these phone skills helpful, as well.

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Inspired Beginners Spanish Podcast - Ben Curtis and Marina Diez

Grades
5 to 12
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This language-rich website features podcasts spoken using British English. The podcasts review the previous episode, explain new English vocabulary, discuss the subject in English,...more
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This language-rich website features podcasts spoken using British English. The podcasts review the previous episode, explain new English vocabulary, discuss the subject in English, and then present the Spanish language podcast. Be aware that clicking to play a podcast will start a long pause as the podcast downloads to your computer, and it may appear that nothing is happening! The subjects are of high interest for students. The name is somewhat of a misnomer, though, since people with no knowledge of Spanish might be a bit overwhelmed by the language used. Unfortunately, accompanying worksheets with complete transcripts are not free, and there is no text available elsewhere. There are a few other free worksheets available under the About link (see resources). Listening options include listening on your computer, iPod, or mp3 player as podcasts.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This site includes tools for blog users to interact (in English or Spanish). Any visitor can comment on the posts and podcasts or participate in Forums. There is also a link to a sister blog on Spanish culture. Check your school policies on students posting comments, etc. to the web and whether they are permitted to do so anonymously and/or with name or initials.

This site requires Quicktime. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): podcasts (81), spanish (105), vocabulary (236)

In the Classroom

This site is a treasure trove for Spanish teachers. It also provides a way for your ESL and ELL students to share their language and culture as the focus of a lesson, perhaps as you study other cultures. Have the ESL or ELL students and native English speakers work on understanding podcasts together. They can discuss what they understood and what they did not. You might have your Spanish speakers write out the dialogue and vocabulary selections, but be sure to have a knowledgeable adult check the Spanish before using it with your students.

To alleviate safety concerns, you might want to create a simple class policy (e.g. initials only) and obtain parent permission before inviting your class to participate in the blog, since you will not be able to monitor their submissions. The site does moderate to prevent "bad" comments from appearing online, but you do not control this moderation. ALL blog comments require an email address (kept hidden). If safety and school policy concerns limit student access, use the site as a whole-class activity and selectively choose portions for students to use. You can assign DIRECT links to podcasts by right-clicking the "Audio: download" link and copying the URL that shows in "Properties," ex. http://media.libsyn.com/media/learnrealspanish/nisbeginners20_el_kindle.mp3. Students can RIGHT-click >Save target as to download and load podcast files to their mp3 players or simply keep to listen over and over at a computer.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Lil' Fingers - David Lumerman

Grades
K to 1
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Little fingers meet big fun at this free interactive website. Designed with toddlers and Kindergarten kiddies in mind, this site offers storybooks, interactive games, holiday activities,...more
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Little fingers meet big fun at this free interactive website. Designed with toddlers and Kindergarten kiddies in mind, this site offers storybooks, interactive games, holiday activities, coloring sheets, and much more. There are even interactive games for ABCs and telling time. Bright colors, quick loading pages, short stories, and extra large buttons (arrows) are just some of the features that make this site easy to use. When viewing the storybooks, just make sure you are not too hasty to click. Clicking your mouse too early may mean missing out of some of the animation. Warning - at the end of each storybook, a recommended book is featured. If you click on that recommendation, you will be taken to a retail book site.

tag(s): holidays (167), time (92)

In the Classroom

Primary teachers, make simple printed text from the storybooks to reinforce the reading skills. Use the holiday games to liven up your computer centers. During Kindergarten Open House, set up a computer center with the storybooks--ready for parent/child interaction. ESL and ELL teachers will appreciate the simplicity of the text for their beginning English-learner students.

Be sure to provide this link in your class newsletter or on your class website.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Robert Munsch Poems & Stories - Robert Munsch

Grades
K to 5
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Beloved children's author Robert Munsch offers many of his stories/books here in audio. Just click on the cover of the book you want to hear. You can then either listen ...more
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Beloved children's author Robert Munsch offers many of his stories/books here in audio. Just click on the cover of the book you want to hear. You can then either listen or download it to listen to later. You will also find an explanation from the author about how the book came to be. All students, including ESL students, will enjoy hearing these stories.

tag(s): folktales (34), poetry (190)

In the Classroom

Set up these recordings as a center with the book at hand and headphones for your students. Or play them for the whpoole class with your speakers turned up after lunch or at the end of the day. Include the link on your teacher web page and newsletter for parents, as well.

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