Repeated Readings Build Fluency
COMMONLIT: Text by theme "CommonLit is a collection of poems, short stories, news articles, historical documents, and literature for classrooms." They are organized by reading level of middle and high school students. Instructors can choose a theme, then choose a discussion question and finally choose one or more texts for students to read and discuss to find answers to the posed question. This will help with comprehension and close critical reading. A good site for teaching mixed ages and abilities, this site will simplify pulling some of these resources together.
Audio Books for Children :-)
StoryNory provides free online audio books. Storynory's actors read myths, fairy tales, and original series for ages 3-14.
SparkleStories is an online audio book provider that has charming and delightful stories for ages 3-8. "Sparkle is an online resource for high-quality audio stories for children and families. Each week Sparkle Stories delivers delightful audio stories to subscribers around the world. We offer twelve original Story Series, plus a thirteenth Series with classic stories, songs and games, all designed to entertain and inspire the whole family." (from the website $7 per month.
Free phonics online
Starfall "offers a free systematic phonics approach, in conjunction with phonemic awareness practice" for K-2 students. "Starfall is an educational alternative to other entertainment choices for children." (from the website)
Practice phonics skills online for free at Reading Bear. Their site says: "Reading Bear is a fun way to learn to read. We teach over 1,200 vocabulary items. Our 50 presentations cover all the main phonics rules. All free and nonprofit!"
Free online decodable reading
"Oxford Owl provides over "250 tablet-friendly eBooks and activities. The eBook Collection on Oxford Owl is easily searchable by age, Book Band and genre to help you find the perfect book for every child." This site is free, but requires users to sign-up. Books are tablet ready now as well.Ex
Teach Your Monster to Read
A free online beginning reading game, Teach your Monster to Read is a series of games that help children to master the key first stages of reading. Combining top quality game design with essential learning, the games complement most systematic synthetic phonics programs and have been designed in collaboration with leading academics from Roehampton University.
Teach Your Monster to Read 2
Teach Your Monster to Read 2: Fun With Words continues the learning from the first game above. It addresses skills including: Introduction and practice of new graphemes / phonemes: ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er Lots of blending and segmenting practice with CVC, CVCC, CCV and CCVC words, plus words with adjacent consonants and some polysyllabic words; Introduction and practice of tricky words: he, she, the, to, we, me, be, was, no, go, my, you, they, her, all, are, said, so, have, like, some, come, were, there, little, one, do when, out, what." (from website)
Practice phonograms with motions
In this video, students can practice common phonograms using movements and clear, correct modeling. This is great for multi-sensory learning. It is not flashy, but it is solid.
Games for phonemics & sight words
Sight Words is a great site for beginning readers to practice high frequency Dolch and Fry words. "This collection of 12 sight words games gives children opportunities to practice their sight words and build toward mastery while also keeping them engaged and having fun. In general, we recommend using a mix of recently introduced words and some older words for review." (from the site)
Study resources, flash cards, and literature study guides are only a few of the offerings at Course Hero
I can't remember what I read!
Here is an article that provides helpful strategies for helping students develop reading comprehension skills if the typical strategies aren't helping. Here are some worksheets for trying out your comprehension strategies.
Find Books by Grade Level
Find books according to reading level using BookWizard or find the series of books by grade level using Kids Book Series
Story Line Online is created by the Screen Actor’s Guild Foundation, and provides many famous actors and actresses reading well-loved children's books. Rainbow Fish by Ernst Borgnine....Stella Luna by Pamela Reed....Me and my Cat by Elijah Wood....what's not to love? There are activities for each book as well and everything is FREE! The stories can also be accessed on SchoolTube at their Storyline Channel
Free Books to Download
Find free downloadable ebooks at Amazon, organized by genre at Freebook Sifter.
100 Books for 1st graders
Free Expository Writing Lessons
This website, Just a Bit Writing provides simple, step-by-step instruction for writing a a five-paragraph expository paper. Students watch carefully designed instructional videos, use writing templates, and access online tools to slowly and carefully craft a paper from pre-writing through final copy. It can be used independently, but parents learn a lot from watching with their students.
Free Online Story Maker
StoryTop is a free web 2.0 tool that allows students to write simple stories with illustrations and comics. The drag and drop method that StoryTop uses is easy for any student. Writers can select a background, characters, and text bubbles from the menu and drag them into a story. Elements like plants and animals can be added and resized . When the story is complete and saved, it can be shared with a web link. This requires no sign-up. However, students can create a free account to save and return to their stories. Reluctant writers should enjoy this tool.
Free Persuasive Writing Lessons
Oh Ya? Prove it! is a free website that teaches students how to outline a persuasive paper. It assumes that the student can already write an expository paper, polish and and edit paragraphs. This program is the second from the author of Just a Bit Writing (above)
Free Writing Editor
The free Hemingway App "makes your writing bold and clear. Hemingway highlights long, complex sentences and common errors; if you see a yellow highlight, shorten the sentence or split it. If you see a red highlight, your sentence is so dense and complicated that your readers will get lost trying to follow its meandering, splitting logic — try editing this sentence to remove the red. Adverbs are helpfully shown in blue. Get rid of them and pick verbs with force instead. You can utilize a shorter word in place of a purple one. Mouse over it for hints. Phrases in green have been marked to show passive voice. Paste in something you're working on and edit away." (From the website)
Writing Samples by Grade Level
Often parents are a bit gun-shy of the standards for writing. Parents have asked us, "Do you have writing samples for a typical student so I can see how my child is doing?" Below, I have linked a resource that contains just such examples. This resource also shows how much support a child is given before s/he is asked to write. Writing Samples by Grade Level
IXL: Where Learning Feels like Play
IXL is an online site that provides comprehensive free practice in English/language arts skills through grade 10, with 11th and 12th projected in the near future. 20 questions per day can be used from any computer for free. Paid accounts are also available that allow for unlimited practice and tracking of student progress. Although IXL is listed under our language arts section, it offers the same type of practice for math. This site is more drill than play, but it is efficient, and students seem to feel positive about using it.
Online Collaborative Writing
BoomWriter is a free online collaborative writing program that allows groups of students to write a portion of a story or non-fiction piece. Next, authors review entries and vote on a winner. This would be best used with students at a similar level, who each have a chance to "win" with their entry.
Reading and writing continuum
Here is an overview of the developmental path of writers. Regardless of age, it helps to see where out students are currently and what the next steps are. Click on the image at right to see the continuum. You can also save and print it. (From Christopher-Gordon Publishers)
Are you interested in some new writing prompts for creative writing? Check out those created by Luke Nef at Writing Prompts. They may or may not be a good fit for your child, but they are worth a look.
Artistic approach to vocabulary
101 Doodle Definitions is a new approach to learning vocabulary for the visual learner or the artistically inclined. "What does “loquacious” mean? Or “bombastic”? Or “quagmire”? Best-selling, doodle-dynamo Deborah Zemke has devised a groundbreaking mnemonic approach to learning—and remembering—the meanings of words. Zemke ingeniously depicts 101 of the most-used words on standardized tests. Perfect for studying and retaining required vocabulary words, this doodle book is ideal for teachers, tutors, and parents who need a new and novel method to teach, reach, and motivate their students." (www.amazon.com)
Membean is especially good for visual learners. Check out their example with the word"plethora." It provides guided, engaging, multi-modal vocabulary instruction while the Adaptive Reinforcement Engine helps students retain what they learn. It is a bit pricey, but it is an amazing tool. Whether working at grade level, focusing of roots, or getting ready for the SAT, Membean is a fabulous tool.
Trapped! Punctuation game from BBC - kids can have some ghostly fun while testing their punctuation skills. The students will read/listen to short stories with great vocabulary. They will drag and drop punctuation marks into the story to make it flow.
Writing Samples by Grade Level
Would you like to show your students how other students at their grade level write...and write well? Writesource provides them. Consider using mentor texts to discuss with students the different components that make the mentor text a model for quality. An assortment of student written mentor texts are organized at this website:
Are you interested in some new writing prompts for creative writing? Check out those created by Luke Nef atWriting Prompts. They may or may not be a good fit for your child, but they are worth a look.
This set of grammar infor-graphisc function as mini instructional posters to help students with some of the most common writing and grammar errors. It's all free so help yourself at this blog.
How writing affects the brain
This info-graphic (click on it to enlarge) provides fascinating information on the effect writing has on the brain. It also talks about the difference between reading and watching TV on vocabulary development. Source: dailyinfographic.com
Support student research with wikisummarizer
Wikisummarizer lets students search for a term in Wikipedia, and then provides a summary using key points. The tab "websummarizer" does the same for ANY webpage. It also refers students to a broad range of articles related to that search. Though we discourage the use of Wikipedia as a reliable research site, it often leads students to reliable articles, and the outline feature can be very helpful in narrowing or broadening a research topic
Visual Flashcards for all ages
The InsideStory Flashcards are designed for visual learners of all ages...from preschoolers through graduate school. See why they call their flashcards "the world's most interesting way to learn words®" Great stories. The stories are unforgettable—and that's how they make words stick. Each "story" provides a clear context for the featured vocabulary word, so readers easily understand how the word is used. The vocabulary is closely associated with the memorable details, making learning words almost as easy as laughing at a funny caption, reading about an unusual animal, or getting the scoop on a cool city. Fantastic photographs. The images not only say "look at me," they match the meanings of the vocabulary they're paired with. Just looking at our pictures helps build familiarity with words. Visual learners have never had it so good! (from the website)