Tuesday, December 18, 2012

ESL Partyland

ESL Paryland
www.eslpartyland.com

ESL partyland is an online ESL learning tool offering valuable resources for every type of student (language development).  The site offers, relevant, topical lessons, quizzes, and games to expand opportunities to use English in different settings, reinforce new concepts, and expose learners to new vocabulary.
ESL party land also offers resources for teachers of English as a second language.  ESL PartyLand offers materials and teaching ideas for every type of learner as well. The site learning activities through music, film, video,  and lesson plans to use when teaching conversation, grammar, listening, and speaking skills.

Great site!


About.com

About.com: The Best Sites for Free Audio Books

About.com offers a list of websites that have free audio books for downloading, and brief descriptions of each website.Moreover, fantastic site for designing a lesson on “how to”.

abcteach

 abcteach
www.abcteach.com

An educational site that offers more than 5,000 free printable theme units, word puzzles, writing forms, book report forms, math activity ideas, and lessons. The site is also very eye catching and user friendly. My favorite part is being able to create customized worksheets.

 

4teachers.org

 4Teachers.org
www.4teachers.org


4Teachers.org works to help you integrate technology into a classroom by offering free online tools and resources. This site helps educators find and create lessons, quizzes, rubrics, and classroom calendars.  4Teachers.org also focuses on instructional Web-based resources, professional development, program support, scaleable online assessment, and assistance for special needs students.  My favorite part of the site are the “4teacher tools” because it provides sister websites that one can visit as a resource for teaching.

 

bioclassroom.com

Bio-classroom
www.bioclassroom.com

BIO Classroom provides free educational materials designed to encourage the use of biography in the classroom and to help students explore the lives of those who have made an impact on our world. Bio classroom features a “Bio of the Month” lesson plan and special teacher's guides based on programs aired during a BIO Classroom hour, every Tuesday morning at 7:00 a.m.

Scholastic News English/Espanol

Scholastic News English/Espanol
http://teacher.scholastic.com/products/classmags/sn_esp_edcal.htm

Scholastic News English/EspaƱol is a classroom magazine available by subscription with a flip-format that lets students read the same content in both English and Spanish. The magazine connects its topics to Latino cultures and offers family activities that can be sent home.

World Central

WordCentral.com
www.worldcentral.com

Merriam-Webster's Word Central is a children’s student dictionary, Daily Buzzword, and interactive word games.One of its fascinating components is that you can build your own classroom dictionary.

Center for Digital Storytelling

Center for Digital Storytelling
www.storycenter.org

Center for digital storytelling demonstrates how pictures are a visual means of communication in which educators can retell the story using specific strategies. It also provides support for ELLs to get the gist of the story, including the characters, setting, and plot.

BBC:Learning English

BBC: Learning English
www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/

Through the use of authentic material, the BBC "Learning English" webpage offers English language-learning multimedia tools such as short courses and quizzes to test grammar and vocabulary. BBC: Learning English also offers material in other languages, including Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Awesome Library

Awesome Library: Multilingual Lesson Plans
www.awesomelibrary.org

A listing of lesson plans and multicultural classroom resources offered in different languages. Its target audience consists of teachers, students, parents, teens, librarians and college students.  Science, health, technology and geography are examples of content found on this site.
 
 
 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Between The Lions

     Between the Lions is a website that can be used to teach listening and reading in the target language to English Language Learners.  The site is a PBS Kids site for children K-2, however the videos, games, stories, provided can be useful for any English Language Learner no matter what the age.  The stories are folktales and fairytales, the videoclips are of letter songs (beginning sounds, vowel blends, letter families etc.).  Moreover, games focus on phonics, and sorting objects.
     The site has activities for children, and resources for parents and teachers to use.  Educators will find literacy activities, lesson plans, handouts, certificates, and other resources to engage emerging readers and their families.  Parents will find activities and games for their children to help them learn to read and write.  Along with recommended books and tips to get kids excited about reading.
     The resources consist of  activities and games for kids ages 4 to 7 and activity booklets for families with children ages 3 to 5. You'll also find great read-aloud books and books about teaching reading. Educators and parents can also find literacy tips and Leading the Way to Literacy videos for ideas on how to encourage children to read.
    

Monday, November 5, 2012

everythingesl.net

     Everythingesl.net is exactly that, everything ESL.  It is one of the only sites that I have found that offers effective resources for educators to use in the classroom. 
     Everythingesl recommends websites to visit that are suitable for English Language Learners.  Moreover, everythingESL also offers lesson plans, teacher tips and articles on English Language Learners.
     The site is not very intriguing, however the site is simple to navigate,and offers a lot useful background information.  What I love most about the site are the list of websites that you can link to directly from the site.
      Everythingesl is not for children, but can be directed towards parents who speak English; and educate them on what they need to know about the needs of their child.

Storyline Online

     Storyline-Online is a website sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild.  The website is designed to read stories aloud to children.  The stories are read by actors such as Melissa Gilbert and James Earl Jones.  As the stories are read aloud, the pictures are displayed.
     The site provides activities for students that lend themselves to the readings.  Moreover, the read-alouds are played on youtube, but if your school blocks youtube; the site offers an alternate link which will allow you to play the video in school.
     English Language Learners benefit from the site in that they are able to listen to a story in the target language, even though they cannot read it themselves.  Moreover, as an English Language Learner educator; the site is ideal to display on the smartboard for a read aloud.
     The site is very user-friendly and easy to navigate, a child can easily log in and select the book that they would like to listen to.  Storyline online is also very colorful and fun to look at; motivating children to read.
     The only criticism I have is that there isn't a wide variety of stories to choose from.

Colorin Colorado

     Colorin Colorado is a website for administrators, educators, librarians and parents who are Spanish/English Bilingual.  However, the langage resources, and videos found on the site are very useful for non-spanish speakers as well.   Colorin Colorado offers resources to teachers who work with English as a Second Language learners and will find ESL/ESOL/ELL/EFL reading/writing skill-building children's books, stories, activities, ideas, strategies to help PreK-3, 4-8, and 9-12 students learn to read.
     The departments of the site are: For Educators, Administrators, Librarians, Families, Books & Authors, Glossary, ELL Topics from A-Z, ELLs and Policy, ELL Research & Reports, Free Guides & Toolkits, LearningStore, Webcasts, Multimedia, E-Newsletters and Web Resources.
     When I use the site, I have to alott about half an hour to an hour researching webcasts and articles.  The webcasts and articles are so informative, in that they educate me on the topic of English Language Learners.  The first time I tried it I was relieved to know that such a site existed to assist me in numerous ways when planning for my students.
     The site is up to date.  It is currently focusing on integrating the new Common Core Standards for English Language Learners, and the policies.
     Parents and teachers can use this site to find recommended books, writing activities and reading activities.  The site is in English, however a tab is available to access the site in Spanish.

 


 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Enchanted Learning

Enchanted Learning is an educational website that offers teachers various resources depending on the topic in which the instructor is searching for.  In literacy for example the website offers various lesson ideas, resources and activities which children can learn from and can be implemented in lesson plans.

The site offers articles in which can be copied and pasted onto lesson-writer to create lesson plans with regards to the article.  For example, I just copy pasted an article on the life cycle of the butterfly   onto lesson-writer.  What I did was combine the literacy activities lesson-writer offers with the arts & crafts activities provided by enchanted learning.

For a social studies geography unit, I recently created paper-mache globes using enchanted learning.  My students also created a poster of the 7 continents, using poster-board, and displayed the route Christopher Columbus took when he set out to find spices.  This activity was also found on enchanted learning.

The website is free for some resources but must pay for "premier" resources.  Until now I have not had to pay, however I will become a member soon to have access to the "premier" resources.

Webquest

Webquest.Org

I recently began using webquest.org to plan my units.  I found that the website is phenomenal.  As teacher leader for the 4th grade I am responsible for creating units and integrating task bundles that integrate literacy with content.  Between lessonwriter and webquest my units have been key in assigning students tasks that focus on the objective that is given.  For ELL's it has also been a great help  because webquest has visuals, and information that is easy to read.  The website is great when teaching into researching topics, thus are categorized by grade.  

The website itself is very user friendly and easy to navigate.  The visuals and print are pleasant to look at, which will encourage the students to continue researching.  That is how user friendly it is, students can go on themselves and research topics.  It is in English, and the tasks provided are aligned to the common core.

What I love the most aside from its interrelated literacy component, at the end of the task the site offers a rubric! Luv that!! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Achieve 3000

     Achieve 3000 is another useful tool for literacy (reading and writing).  I was just recently trained to use Achieve 3000 and have already started assessing my students reading level to assign them the appropriate reading level.
     Achieve 3000 gives the educator the ability search readings of various genres by level.  For example if a student in your class reads a level S book, the same article can be found but at an easier reading level such as level M.  The levels are determined by a lexile system,  the higher the level the higher the lexile count.
     Moreover, Achieve 3000 offers units of study that complement the New York City Department's scope and sequence for Science and Social Studies.  They also have lessons, rubrics and games that all tie in to the article selected.
     Check it out, I guarantee your are going to find the site quite effective.

Tumble Books

     Tumble books are a great tool to use in a classroom of English Language Learners.  To use tumble books one might subscribe to a paid membership online or simply visit kids.nypl.org/ where you can use tumble books free of charge. 
     Tumble books are electronic books that are available in various literary genres.  In kids.nypl.org, all it takes is having a library card membership number and you are given access to use the tumble books.
     I found that tumble books are very user -friendly, as the book is read aloud the words that are being read are highlighted.  Moreover, one is able to go back, go forward, and pause the story.  Readers can easily navigate the page and follow what is being read.  Students have found it to be very intriguing, and they follow along as the book is being read.
     I have found that tumble books are ideal for read alouds and shared reading.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Photo Story 3

Photo Story 3
 
     I have found that Photo Story 3 is a phenomenol tool to use in the Bilingual classroom setting.  It can be used for example with beginning ELLs who cannot read or write in the target language, use their language by speaking about the pictures that are implemented in photo story.  A student can also be asked to sequence pictures, and speak about each photo in sequential order.  Moreover, they can be asked to used sequential words (assuming the student has been exposed to that sort of vocabulary.)
     Another way that it can be used is to dictate a narrative story, or an autobiography.   I am currently experimenting with the site and trying to find a place for it in my unit of Native Americans.  The visuals are key for the demographic of my classroom.  There are students who fit the profile of various language and academic levels.  It becomes challenging to differentiate for all levels, however a tool such as Photo story 3 gives me endless possibilities as to how I would use it in the classroom.
     The best part is, the software is easy to download and navigate once the program has been downloaded.
 
    


    


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I Have a Dream...to Educate! ;)

video

Kahn Academy
        Kahn academy is a very useful tool in the classroom.  Depending on the grade or topic, one is able to find an educational video teaching the topic of choice.  I have been able to look at some of the videos provided for simple math.  I have been planning my lessons with the Kahn Academy in mind, and how I can implement it in my daily lessons.  The videos are very beneficial in that students are able to experience what is expected of them, their thinking, and ways to solve problems.
Allmyfaves.com
 
 
Ever since I learned about www.allmyfaves.com I have not stopped using it.  Not only do I use it daily, I have recommended the site to various people, who in turn have commented that the site is super helpful.  The site offers assistance in finding websites according to the topic.  For example;  travel, shopping, social networking; and my personal favorite language.  By selecting language I was able to see all of the most popular sites having to do with language.  This is where I discovered BBC language. 

                If you have not done so already, try the website, you are going to find it to be very helpful.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lesson Writer

          Lesson Writer is a God send!  As soon as I laid eyes on it in class, I could not help myself but to blurt out "Niiicccccceeee!!"  What I like most is that the lessons are integrated using the new Common Core State Standards, and applies graphic organizers.
          The next day after class, the first thing I did when I saw my English Language Learner Director was bring the website to her attention.  I then text my Assistant Principal and asked her to check out lessonwriter.com.  Soon after; when I finally reached my classroom and settled down, my Bilingual Pupil Services intern walked in.  "Guess what?!" I blurted out, you must see this website!!"  I immediately programmed my smartboard and introduced lessonwriter on a big screen calling the attention of other teachers who were casually passing by.
          Lesson writer is definatley a software that I will be using a lot, it is perfect for the demands that my job asks of me.
          Please click on the video below to see an introduction to Lessonwriter.

Prezi


          I have never heard of the software Prezi up until now.  The first time I heard of it was in class.  As it was being introduced I was thinking about how it could be intergrated in an elementary school classroom interactively.  I have yet to get my creative juices flowing, I'd like to see it used in the classroom first, and I am pretty sure my creative juices will start to flow.
          However, coincidently I attended a workshop being held by the New York City deparment of Education on how to intergrate the new common core state standards in our lessons.  As the presentation unfolded I recognized the software.  What had initially called my attention was that the presentor mentioned "I hope you're not getting dizzy."  When he said that it reminded me of class, when our professors mentioned something to the fact of getting dizzy when using Prezi.  At the end of the presentation I asked it they had used Prezi (just to show off), and the responded "Yes!"
          I must say that it was fun to look at. The transitions from slide to slide were different and entertaining.  I could not help myself but to compare it to power point. 
          I have more to explore!



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What is your Motto?/ What is your Perfect idea of Happiness?


What is your motto/What is your perfect idea of happiness?
What is your motto and What is your perfect idea of happiness?; are questions that I thought would be easy to answer, but are not.  Both questions are interrelated in that my motto is “Life is what you make it”; which is what defines my happiness.
            They’re not easy questions to answer because they are about myself.  Having to answer questions about myself take me time to answer, because I realize that I do not know the answer to most of them.  Therefore, this assignment was not as easy as I thought it would be.
So let me start by answering the question with the definition of happiness.  Happiness is defined as “good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy”.  However, what makes me feel good fortune, pleasure, contentment and joy?  Happiness for me is being spiritually, physically, and mentally healthy.  All three are interdependent of the other.  Without fulfilling all three I am not complete.
What makes me spiritually healthy is my religion.  My religion keeps me modest, humble, and always trying my best when things are at its worst.  Religion, for me is guide to my life and how to live it.  Physically healthy goes without saying, eating a well-balanced throughout the day and being physically active.  If I am not energized it is difficult for me to keep up with being a mother, a wife, a student and career person.  Which leads me to being mentally healthy; both physical health and spiritual help me keep my sanity throughout the year.
No matter what though my family is the nucleus of my happiness; making time for them is key.