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What it is: It can be really difficult for visual learners to get a good handle on vocabulary.  Without good visual aids, the definitions behind words can feel abstract and hard to grasp.  Weboword is a fantastic visual vocabulary site that offers students illustrations that help students understand vocabulary.  I believe that everyone remembers concepts better when they are surrounded by story.  Think about a tsunami.  What comes to mind is probably not a word for word definition of the word but images, and stories about tsunamis.  You probably think about the destruction that they cause, a story you heard from someone affected by a tsunami.  Because we make deeper connections with stories, it only makes sense to offer students vocabulary words with a visual aid that will help them create story references and pictures.  Each vocabulary word is accompanied by a sketch of the word, a definition of the word, a history of the word, the pronunciation, and situational uses of the word.  There is a limited number of words pictured, but it should help students to build up a stronger vocabulary and word fluency.  Each day a new vocabulary word is featured on the Weboword home page.  Students can also review past vocabulary words on the “vocabulary” page.  Students can complete crossword puzzles based on the Weboword vocabulary.     How to integrate Weboword into the classroom: Vocabulary and word fluency is an important ingredient for strong readers.  Begin each day with the newest Weboword vocabulary on your projector or interactive whiteboard.  You can subscribe to Webowords free daily updates to get a word each day delivered to you.  Because the vocabulary on Weboword is limited, you may not find the specific vocabulary you are looking for.  Encourage your students to create their own visualizations and cartoon sketches for the vocabulary they are studying.  Weboword is excellent preparation for the SAT’s but can also be used with younger students to build vocabulary.  My elementary students really enjoy learning “big kid” words.  The advanced vocabulary can make them feel empowered.  Webowords is also a great way to spice up student writing, when they have a greater vocabulary base to pull from, their writing will become richer. Tips: Embed the Weboword widget in your classroom website. Students can get the vocabulary word for the day with one stop. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Weboword in your classroom.

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Password Bird

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Fun & Games, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 30-01-2009

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What it is: Password Bird is an extremelly simple website, but one that I love to use with my elementary students.  Password Bird helps students create a password using a few easy to answer questions.  Students enter a name that is special to them, a word that is special to them, and date that is special to them.  Password Bird takes these and turns it into a randomly generated password.  The ideas is that the password generated will be something easy for students to remember but hard for others to guess.


How to integrate Password Bird into the classroom:  In my computer classroom I hear the words “I don’t know what my password should be” a lot.  Password Bird is the perfect place to send these kids.  It helps them create a password quickly that should be fairly easy for them to remember.   Sometimes Password Bird generates great passwords, and sometimes the passwords are not as strong.  I have used Password Bird to generate passwords that we then dissect and decide if it is a strong password or not.  


Tips:  Not every password generated on Password Bird will be a strong password, usually this is due to the words that the students chose that make it a weak password.  Use the opportunity to discuss what makes it a particularly strong or weak password. 


Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Password Bird in your classroom.

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