Language Arts

60 Second Recap
60 Second Recap provides book summaries in sixty second video segments. There is a sixty second summary of each chapter of each book. Along with the chapter summaries there is a general overview of each book. This site offers registered users the option to record a video response to each video summary. If you don't have access to a web cam, you can record a simple text response. This site could be used as students are reading a book to ensure understanding.
*Pros-The 60 second recap is a good way for students to pick books to read and the recap also helps students to understand the novel.
*Cons-There are limited novel recaps.

Books Should Be Free
This is a free public domain where teachers and students can obtain free audio books and eBooks covering a wide range of topics and interests. This site would benefit ESOL students or just any student who wants to listen to an audio book. Some students could read a chapter then listen to the next.
*Pros-Books are searchable by title, author, genre, or keyword. All the classics are presents and free to download to iPods and MP3 players.
*Cons-Not everybody owns an iPod or MP3 player.

Free Rice
This site has two goals: improving your English vocabulary and ending world hunger by providing rice to hungry people. For every vocabulary word you answer correctly, Free Rice will donate 10 grains of rice to the UN World Food Program. You have the option to keep track of your vocabulary level and how much rice you've donated. The default games is a vocabulary drill which asks you to mach a word with the closest synonym. The game starts out at the middle school level, but you soon find yourself learning new vocabulary. If you miss a word if will be repeated several times so that you have a chance to learn it. You can also click "change subjects." The other subjects include famous paintings, chemistry symbols, geography, French, German, Italian, Spanish, pre-algebra, and multiplication. I think this would be a great activity for students to do throughout the year and each student keep track of how much rice they have donated and add up the totals to see how much rice the class as a whole donated. The students could compete as a class and something could be given to the class that donates the most rice.
*Pros-This game is easy to stop and start so you can play for as long (or as short of a time) as you like.
*Cons-Warning: These games are very addicting!

Make Beliefs Comix
This site is a place where writers can create their own world and free themselves from their immediate problems. You pick the characters and their emotions, write their thoughts and dialogue, edit the strip, the print it or email it to yourself or your friends. A great time to use this would be at the beginning of the school year, have the students create an autobiographical comic about themselves and their families summarizing the most important things in their lives.
*Pros-The act of using a comic strip allows students to write in a pleasurable way.
*Cons-It is still important for students to know how to write a paper using the traditional introduction paragraph, supporting paragraphs, and conclusion.

Literacy Connections
This website promotes literacy skills and a love of reading! It provides a wealth of information on reading teaching and tutoring techniques, ESL literacy, and adult literacy. These resources are useful for teachers, volunteers, and directors of literacy programs. Topics include the language experience approach, phonics, word study, word families and the best children’s literature.
*Pros- Provides repeated reading practice, which gives the student opportunity to test growth.
*Cons- Making sure students receive age appropriate materials.

This is a website sometimes described as radio reading, Readers Theater focuses on oral interpretation of a script rather than on memorization, staging, or elaborate props and costuming. StoryCart Press offers a variety of products that support the use of Readers Theater usually found in the elementary classroom or reading resource room.
*Pros- Allows students to express themselves through oral interpretation rather than memorization.
*Cons- Limited access to the webpage.

Thumbs Scribes
Thumbs Scribes is a site for collaboratively creating poems and short stories. It can be used in two ways. First, you can contribute to story or poem that someone else has started and placed in the public gallery. Second, you can start your own story or poem and either place it in the public gallery or invite others to collaborate with you. If you put your poem or story in the public gallery anyone can add to it. If you don't want the whole world adding to your poem or story you can mark it as "private" and invite individuals to add to it.
*Pros-This is a great way for students to collaboratively write.
*Cons-It takes a little time for someone to add to your poem or story unless you ask a friend to do it.

Writing A-Z
Writing A-Z is a site that provides teacher with all the resources necessary to teach the common process writing genres including expository, narrative, persuasive, procedural, and transactional writing process.
*Pros-This site empowers teachers with instant access 24/7 to hundreds of leveled, downloadable writing resources.
*Cons-It costs between $24.95-$29.95 per classroom annually.


AAA Math
This website is customized by grade level and topic. This site features explanations of various mathematical topics, practice problems, and fun, challenging games. I would use this website for unlimited practice and immediate feedback. I personally like the sudoku game on this site.
*Pros-The student's ability to work at their own level and pace allows mastery of the topic before attacking a new skill. There is also a Spanish version for ESOL students.
*Cons-This site is sorted by grade level and some students may not be performing on grade level.

Ask Dr. Math
On this website you will find many links to mathematics topics suchas formulas and help on various math problems. This website is promarily used to ask math questions and have them reply on a message board. I wouldn't use this site much in my classroom, but this site would be helpful for students when doing homework assignments when they had questions.
*Pros-Students can ask whatever question they want and don't have to just ask predetermined questions. Students can also browse other questions and see if there is already a response to the question that they want to ask.
*Cons-It would be nice if the "Doctors" were actually doctors, but advance math students from a University are qualified to answer any questions that students may have.

Cool Math
This interactive site allows users to sharpen basic math skills, play games and explore new math concepts. This site was developed so that students would enjoy learning math. I would use this site to help students with Problem resolving skills, Ability to see relationships, Logic and vital thiking skills, and the Ability to spot and examine patterns.
*Pros-This is a great way to motivate kids so they love learning the basic principles of math. It is very detailed and easy to understand lessons before jumping into the practice.
*Cons-This website is very busy and it could be overwhelming to find topics when you aren't used to the site.

Daily Mental Math Activities
This is a website that provides regular practice with mental math that has been shown to enhance any mathematics program and result in significant improvement for student on standardized tests of computation and problem solving. These mental math questions could be read to the students on regular basis. The students number 1 to 10 on their papers and write the answers to the questions quickly (within 10 seconds). The class should then check the answers and discuss ways to determine the solution mentally. Sharing of solution strategies is vital since the students can hear and possibly adopt more efficient methods. This also allows the teachers to collect and record results periodically. Teachers should also feel free to adapt these daily mental math problems to meet the individual needs of their students. This gives the teacher the opportunity to check if student are weak in certain skills.
*Pros- Allows the students to prepare for the next level, and allows repetitive practice.
*Cons- Students may get discouraged if there is no growth.

FleetKids games teaches students several different aspects of money management. The activities on this site concentrate on earning, saving, and investing money. Games include Windfall, where a child can run an imaginary business and BuyLo/SellHi, where children can play the stock market. Students can sign up as an individual or as part of a team. This would be a good site to sign-up as a school. Schools that sign-up, have a chance to win prizes and can compete with local schools.
*Pros-This sites makes math relevant to the student.
*Cons-Although the site is free, it does require visitors to sign-up to play the games.

Math.Com is a website that provides revolutionary ways for students, parents, teachers, and everyone to learn math. Combining educationally sound principles with proprietary technology, offers a unique experience that quickly guides the user to the solutions they need and the products they want. These solutions include assessment, on-demand modular courses that target key math concepts, 24/7 live online tutoring, and expert answers to math questions. In addition to solutions, offers exploratory and recreational introductions to the world of math that will lead to deeper understanding and enjoyment. The range of services, products and solutions offered makes the single source for all math needs.
*Pros-This site provides help whenever the students need it.
*Cons-This webpage is not visually appealing for students.

Math Cats
Math Cats provides playful explorations of important math concepts through games, crafts and interactive projects. It's dedicated to helping students discover the logic and beauty of mathematics, rather than just drills and practice. This site includes a magic chalkboard and an art gallery. This would be a good site for students to use at home and even get the family involved!
*Pros-The best feature of this site is the range of mathematical areas covered.
*Cons-There are warnings on the site that some activities may strain capabilities of the browser. One evaluator reported that several activities seemed to hang their browser and had to be closed down.

This is a math-help website that generates answers to specific math questions and problems, as entered by a user, at any particular moment. The math answers are generated and displayed real-time, at the moment a web user types in their math problem and clicks “solve.” In addition to the answers, Webmath also shows the student how to arrive at the answer.
*Pros-When students have questions, they can get answers immediately.
*Cons-This website is not visually appealing


This kid site from the Lawrence Hall of Science provides projects, activities, and games for science students. The activities provide interactive ways for students to experiment, design, and discover about the world around them. These activities ask students to "use your hands, feet, eyes, ears, brain, imagination and cool tools to experiment, design, test and discover amazing things about the world around you. It's science and it's fun!"
*Pros-There are many games and activities which make learning fun.
*Cons-The Educator Information is coming soon...

Brain Pop
This is a very creative and engaging animated website for students between middle and early high school level. BrainPop provides a wide variety of curriculum-based content in an accessible and fun format, and is a highly recommended and extensive resource for teachers and students. This site could be used as an introduction to a new topic or as a review for a test.
*Pros-Students love watching these short animated clips. They feel like they are beign entertained and learning at the same time. These clips are perfect for reluctant readers and for introducing new information. BrainPop is also available in Spanish.
*Cons-Unfortunately, this site allows only a few free videos in each curricular area, and they change on a regular basis. Subscription is necessary to watch all videos.

The Periodic Table of Videos
This site has a wide array of videos about the elements and other chemistry topics. This would be a good site for students to use to research different elements.
*Pros-These videos are very interesting and detailed. The videos also show experiments with each element.
*Cons-There are 117 different elements and it would be very difficult to watch all the videos on the elements!

This is an introductory site to Physics for students. Physics4Kids provides a resourceful, informative website to explore topics such as motion, heat, electricity, light, modern studies, and more. The sections at the bottom of the homepage includes activities and quizzes and real-world examples of physics in action.
*Pros-The following directions make it easy to navagate this site: "If you're still not sure what to click, try our site map that lists all of the topics on the site. If you surf and get lost in all of the information, use the search function on the side of the pages."
*Cons-Downloading the game took a lot of time.

Physics Central
This site offers a hub of information, from how physics makes the world around us "work" to how physics applies to current events. The American Physical Society represents over 50,000 physicists. These physicists communicate the excitement and importance of physics to everyone. They answer questions on how things work and keep you informed with daily updates. They describe the latest research and if you need more information, they can guide you on where to find this information.
*Pros-Ask and Experiment has come great activities for students to try at home.
*Cons-This site is not very kid-friendly.

Science A-Z
Science A-Z is a website offering a customizable collection of downloadable lesson and materials in four scientific domains: life, earth, physical and process science. These resources are organized into units and individual materials to supplement your curriculum. To meet the various needs and abilities of students, each unit is aimed at grade range at which the topic is taught in most states.
*Pros-Materials within each unit are provided at three developmental reading levels: low to middle to high.
*Cons-A full year of Science A-Z costs $49.95-$75.95 per classroom.

Science of Everyday Life
This is a web site that allows teachers to find standards based lesson plans, video, a blog, and more. It explores innovation HQ that includes virtual labs, interactive games and more. This site also gives families the opportunity to use fun practical family-friendly activities which brings the learning home. Students are allowed to explore the science around you with games and interactivities.
*Pros- Gives the opportunity for the whole family to participate in science.
*Cons- Not many parental guidelines for science experiments.

This site has lots of information on the planets, space flight missions, and space-related technologies. The multimedia features allow users to watch videos of solar eruptions or view photographs of Saturn's rings. A team of space news veterans also present the weekly video series, "This Week in Space."

The Science Spot
This is an excellent resource for educators and students. From the Science Classroom to the Kid Zone, everyone is sure to find something to make learning fun!
*Pros- Keeps students attention
*Cons- Busy site

Social Studies

Civil War 150
This site is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.

This site hosts hundreds of short video tours of the most famous cities throughout the world. You have the choice of location AND the choice of topic. Some examples of locations include Austria, Egypt, Finland, Canada, Greece, India, Mexico, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, and many other countries. The topics you can choose from vary by location. Some examples of possible topics include chocolate shops (in Paris), the Colosseum, local etiquette, and many others. The neat thing about the topics is they vary from tourist attractions, local customs, food, city life, modes of transportation, and countless others. I would use this website after having students to pick a country to do research on. I would allow students time to watch the videos. The students could have a class "World Day" and the students could present their research.
*Pros-The videos on each of the countries is very interesting and students always seem to like to watch a video. It would enhance their learning of countries around the world.
*Cons-This site might make students want to travel!

Google Earth
This site puts the world's geographic information at your fingertips. Google Earth is easy to use and presents a great deal of information that applies to topics that are addressed in educational settings. By offering the ability to place this information in combination on a three-dimensional model of the Earth, it can facilitate understanding of the Earth system and the many subject areas that comprise it, ranging from natural sciences to social sciences, history, art, engineering and any other topic that has a geographic component. Information that can be displayed on Google Earth includes aerial and satellite imagery, the numerous layers offered by Google's database.
*Pros-Google Earth is free to download.
*Cons-There are design features on the timeline that can be confusing.

This is a web site that prepares young Americans to become knowledgeable, engaged 21st century citizens by creating free and innovative educational materials. As a result in 2009, Justice Sandra Day O’ Connor founded iCivics to reverse Americans’ declining civic knowledge and participation. In just two years, iCivics has produced 16 educational video games as well as vibrant teaching materials that have been used in classrooms in all 50 states.

Mission U.S.
Mission U.S. has two free interactive U.S. history games. One focuses on the American Revolution, the other focuses on a slave's quest for freedom.
Mission 1, “For Crown or Colony?,” puts players in the shoes of Nat Wheeler, a printer’s apprentice in 1770 Boston. They encounter both Patriots and Loyalists, and when rising tensions result in the Boston Massacre, they must choose where their loyalties lie.
In Mission 2, “Flight to Freedom,” players take on the role of Lucy, a 14-year-old slave in Kentucky. As they navigate her escape and journey to Ohio, they discover that life in the “free” North is dangerous and difficult. In 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act brings disaster. Will Lucy ever truly be free?
*Pros-These are fun ways to learn about the Revolutionary War and about the Fugitive Slave Act.
*Cons-You do have to register to play and some students may forget their username or password.

Muzzy Lane's Making History
Students play the role of decision maker in historical situations in order to see the relevance of these events in their daily lives and to develop better problem-solving skills. There are two games on this site relating to Social Studies: Making History II and Past Present
In Past Present the game allows students to see what it would be like to be transported back in time and see what it's like to live 100 years ago. In this simulation, students play the role of an immigrant textile mill worker in 1906. Students will strategize with other students to figure out what decisions Anna, the textile worker, will have to make. You learn that every decision you make comes with consequences. I would use this site when talking about the Industrial Revolution.
*Pros-It only takes a minute to create a game account and download and begin playing Past Present.
*Cons-It takes four hours to finish the game.
In the Making History Series, students are given the power to take full control of any world nation, colony, region, city, or military force during the time of WWII.
*Pros-I like this game because it allows students to see history from a different perspective--from the role of a national leader with the power to choose your own path and alter the course of history.

Teach Vision-Social Studies
This is a web site is popular for social studies that are perfect educational tools for grades 6-8. Middle school students will have fun learning these lessons. Including games such as Holiday Bingo, crossword puzzles for each of the States, election vocabulary activities, quiz games about specific countries, word search about different jobs and more. Teachers are sure to find something to fit your classroom curriculum and teaching style.

Traveler IQ Challenge
This is a free Geography game.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Online Exhibition
This is an online version of the United States Holocaust memorial Museum's exhibitions on Rescue and Resistance, Anti-Semitism, Propaganda, Persecution, Camps, the Aftermath and more. My favorite section of this website was The Holocaust: A Learning Site for Students. This section, which is organized by themes, includes texts, photographs, maps, and video to provide an overview of the Holocaust. I would use this site when studying World War II and specifically the Holocaust. I might also use this site on Days of Remembrance which is April 7-14, 2013.
*Pros-The strengths of this website are the abundance of information on the Holocaust as well as all the pictures, maps, and letters of Holocaust victims. I think that this site does a great job with making the Holocaust come to life.
*Cons-Students may not find this site fun because it does not have games or quizzes.

Visualizing Emancipation
This is a web site that shows the map of slavery’s end during the American Civil War. It finds patterns in the collapse of southern slavery, mapping the interactions between federal policies, armies in the field, and the actions of enslaved men and women on countless farm and city blocks. It encourages scholars, students and the public to examine the wartime end of the slavery in place, allowing a rigorously geographic perspective on emancipation in the United States.
*Pros- Very informative

All Subjects

Shepard's Software
This site includes hundreds of educational games, activities, quizzes, articles, and more for students to use online.