Story Starters & Creative Writing Fun!

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/story-starters/

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Journal Writing Prompts & Picture Prompts from Mrs. Leone's English Class

https://leoneenglish.wordpress.com/literature-as-entertainment/journals/
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Punctuation Practice & Online QUIZ!

http://www.timeforkids.com/homework-helper/grammar-wizard/punctuation-practice

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Raz-kids Books


http://www.raz-kids.com/

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A Mighty Girl: Books for Empowering Girls

Link: http://www.amightygirl.com/books/general-interest/science-technology

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The Best Children's Books


Link: http://www.the-best-childrens-books.org/index.html

100 Best Read Aloud Books for children ages 8-11


Link: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/328.Best_Read_Aloud_Chapter_Books

Read Aloud America Composite Book List for Years 1999 - 2009


Link: http://www.readaloudamerica.org/books_G45.htm

The Top 100 Picture Books

Link: http://childrensbooksguide.com/top-100

The International Children's Digital Library


Link: http://en.childrenslibrary.org/

Description: The International Children's Digital Library is an INCREDIBLE resource that catalogs books in a variety of fun, engaging and searchable ways. For example, books are sorted by language, region, rating, types of kid characters, make believe or non-fiction, picture books, cover color, length and appropriate age range. ICDL's goal is to create a free digital library representing over 100 languages that enables children to interact with and better understand the world around them. ICDL is a project of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory at the University of Maryland and maintains its goal of being a user-friendly, kid-collaborative project. For example, students can create an online profile that allows them to rate and review books and remember his/her language preference.

Use in Classroom: I am so excited about this website because inevitably I will be teaching a broad and diverse range of students in the coming years. Now I can access books written and published by authors from around the world! To be able to connect my international students to books in their own language thrills me because I know it will empower them to take pride in their home culture and language.I would like to integrate these books into my classroom when certain books coincide with a lesson on that region or include a similar interaction or interpretation of a well-known story. If my classroom has a SmartBoard, I could then read or ask a student to read one of the books to the entire class. Also, I would encourage all of my students to access this website at home to encourage them to read for pleasure!

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ePals: Electronic "Pen Pals"


Link: http://www.epals.com/

Description: This resource is full of great content, ideas and forums for educators and students. Beyond the digital "pen pal" program, which allows students to search and connect with classrooms world-wide, the website also offers teachers, students AND families the opportunity to engage globally with people and programs around the world.

For example, the ePals Projects page gives several lesson plan ideas on a variety of subjects including weather, water, natural disasters, habitats, global warming, holidays & festivals around the world, and digital storytelling. (See below for an overview of the Global Warming lesson.) For each of them, there is a "Connect with Classrooms" link/button to the right where discussion forums have been created by students and teachers who are engaging with the same curriculum. These are similar to online discussion forums but targeted specifically for educators and learners.

Under "Students" there is a list of content links that include Biodiversity, Black History, eFilms on ePals, National Geographic Kids, Smithsonian on ePals and Team Earth (to name a few). This is where students can explore one of the topics at length and even upload their work to the website!

Finally, one of the resources I really appreciated was the Teacher Spotlight page where real teachers share their lessons, powerpoints or projects with the rest of the community. I find information like this invaluable because it's content that has been vetted in the classroom and can be quickly implemented in a real and tangible way (you can actually download the powerpoint directly from the sight!)

Use in Classroom: The most obvious uses in the classroom are the lesson/unit plans available to educators, as well as the forums for student/teacher discussions. I would definitely like to integrate some of these lessons into my classroom and would encourage my students and families to consider an ePal writing project from home as well. One of the wonderful things about a digital pen-pal writing project is that it humanizes a far away region and creates international friendships. Hopefully by participating in such a program, students would also become more and more interested in writing as a medium of expression and continue to improve in that content area as well.

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