Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

InsideStory Flashcards

June18

Forget boring vocabulary activities! InsideStory Flashcards bring the English language to life through engaging photos and matching definitions related to a variety of words. In addition to the simple but attractive pictures, users can click on a speaker for the correct pronunciation of words which are categorized into four levels: Basic/Kids & ESL (i.e. elephant, button, toothbrush), Easy/Vocabulary Builder (i.e. rant, apparel, stagnant), Medium/SAT Vocabulary (i.e. imposing, ominous, ambidextrous) and Hard/GRE & Beyond (i.e. dishabille, boreal, prescience).

InsideStory Flashcards can be downloaded, printed and/or users can improve their vocabulary online. Although the site is free to use, flashcards sets are also available for purchase in the InsideStory Flashcards online store.

Spend a few minutes on this site and you will not only get the idea that learning words can be a lot of fun, but you’ll also see why the creators of InsideStory Flashcards dub their product “the world’s most interesting way to learn words”. An InsideStory Flashcards example is shown above.

Classroom Connection:

Since images used to supplement learning can help to present and define information in a more meaningful context, InsideStory Flashcards are a great addition to any classroom! Not only is this tool an excellent resource for visual learners, but these flashcards provide a fun and engaging way to learn new words and/or practice new vocabulary.

Give some of these ideas a try:

» Project the site to a screen or interactive whiteboard and utilize the flashcards as the “Word of the Day”. Challenge students to use the word in an assignment and/or conversation.

» Divide students into pairs or small groups to see which team can create the most original sentence using a new vocabulary word.

» Use the flashcards as a creative writing prompt.

» Print the flashcards and use them in a writing inspiration station/center.

» Practice SAT vocabulary.

» Assist ESL students with learning the English language.

So, these vocabulary words don’t pertain to your content area? No worries! Use the InsideStory Flashcards concept and have students create their own vocabulary projects using the Motivational Poster or Trading Card utilities in Big Huge Labs—one of my most favorite web tools of all time! These activities will enable your students to learn, understand and utilize vocabulary in a more meaningful, 21st Century way!  A sixth grade example is shown above.

For more information about the value of using images in your classroom, check out my “Big Huge Labs: Using Images to Enhance Reading, Writing & Thinking Skills” wiki page here.

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Hey, edu-tech gurus!

Looking for some technology integration ideas to enhance your classroom lessons? Then be sure to check out my "Tech Tips" for the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, applications and web sites that can be incorporated into activities and/or projects. Although some posts may not be applicable to your content area or grade level, be sure to check back often as I will be varying ideas in order to provide resources across the K-12 curriculum.

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