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English Language Arts Resources for Teachers

IXL Learning Language Practice - This site provides TRA students with unlimited opportunities for practice in Mathematics and English Language Arts skills that range from Pre-K to Grade 12. Students can pass the mouse pointer over any skill in the large list of language arts and Math skills and view examples of the type of activity that it presents. TRA offers a paid subscription to IXL Math and ELA to all students. The IXL site also allows each computer to try a limited number of activities in Science and Social Studies each day without having a subscription to these additional subjects. UPDATED DEC 2018

SAS Curriculum Pathways - English Language Arts - SAS Curriculum Pathways delivers free online curriculum resources that target higher-order thinking skills with a proven impact on increasing student learning and teacher effectiveness. The English Language Arts resources include more than 300 interactive tools, research inquiries and lessons in Reading Skills (111) Writing Skills (99), Literary Genres (76) American Literature (57), English Literature (53) and Grammar(57). Professional development is also provided to help teachers to integrate the offerings into the classroom. UPDATED May 2015

News ELA - great site for teachers looking for non-fiction reading material that is appropriately challenging for the level of students. News ELA provide multiple new articles each day with each article available in five (5) Lexile reading ranges; 1000 or more archived articles; high interest topics in categories such as war and peace, science, money, law, health, kids, and arts; common core alignment; and capability for students to take quizzes and check progress. These features are provided free with registration. (recommended by Gail and Barbora) UPDATED Nov 2015

ReadWorks - this free site provides teachers with research-based units, lessons, and authentic, leveled non-fiction and literary reading passages online, for free. The ReadWorks curriculum is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and each passage is leveled and assigned a Lexile reading complexity score. This site is free but requires registration. NEW May 2015

Odell Education - this site features the Developing Core Proficiencies Curriculum developed by Odell Education for the Regents of NY for their Engage NY curriculum. This free curriculum is comprised of a series of four units at each grade level that provide direct instruction on a set of literacy proficiencies at the heart of the Common Core State Standards. Each unit highlights a core literacy proficiency and provides approaches, instructional sequences, handouts, tools and texts for developing independent mastery and creative critical thinking in students. NEW Dec 2014

Free Readability Calculator -this website may be used to help teachers determine the quantitative complexity of reading passages that are being considered as a resource for an ELA lesson plan. The calculator will compute the Flesh-Kincaid reading grade level as well as other popular readibility formulas. Paste any text you are considering for your students into the site's textbox and it will automatically provide you with a variety of readabillity values. UPDATED Dec 2018

Odell Education-Literacy Toolbox - this page of the Odell Education site provides the Core Proficiencies Toolbox, a collection of adaptable resources for building literacy proficiency. While these handouts, graphic organizers, tools, checklists and rubrics are used throughout the Odell curriculum, they are also designed for teachers and students to use and adapt for their own unique purposes. The toolbox provides scaffolds to develop independent thinking, works with any selected text, guides and structures student reading and thinking at the textual level, and supports the writing process. NEW Dec 2014

Reading Skills for Today's Adults - this site sponsored by Marshall Adult Education, provides a library of graded stories ranging between reading levels 0.7 and 8.0 divided into 18 reading sub-levels. There are over 20 stories per level and all include an optional audio track for reading along. The stories cover topics of interest to adults, including ESOL students, helping them become more informed consumers, parents, employees, citizens and community members. Topics cover areas such as health and wellness, civics, work readiness, community, family, housing, school, shopping, and government. All the stories are adult appropriate and include pre-reading activities (e.g. pictures, questions and terms), comprehension questions, and writing exercises. Select level 1 stories for G.L.E. 0.7 to 4.5 and level 2 stories for G.L.E. 5.0 to 8.0. UPDATED Feb 2018

Awesome Stories - this is a free website that presents 250 compelling stories composed of 2500 chapters and supported by over 25,000 related primary sources in the form of videos, audio clips, documents and images, so that students can engage, research, think critically, reflect and communicate in order to evaluate the credibility, importance and relevance of the stories. Teachers must register to gain access but there is no charge for the bronze level membership. NEW Nov 2015

Instant Serials - this website presents high interest stories in serial form. It seems that registered users may stream any of the 11 currently available stories for free. There is also a sharing option that allows you to set up a group of readers and schedule when each episode is available to the group (e.g. daily or weekly). Students may read previous episodes of the story to catch up, but must wait for the scheduled release date for new episodes. There is a cost for the sharing option but it is a reasonable $5.95 to share a book with any size group. There are also teacher guides for each of the stories available in PDF form. NEW Jan 2016 - Brockton

America in Class - this site provides a huge collection of primary resources compatible with the CCR Standards including historical documents, literary texts, and works of art. These are all organized by chronological topic with notes and discussion questions included. The site includes major sections on American History for early exploration through the 1920s and other sections focusing on African American history. Teachers should investigate the Professional Development section for huge libraries of lesson plans, webinars,videos, and secondary sources. NEW Nov 2015 - shared by Worcester

ProCon.Org - this ad-free, innovative, digital education website has become a leading source for unbiased information and civic education for students, educators, legislators, journalists and the general public. It provides well-sourced opposing positions on controversial topics. Students must use critical thinking to formulate their own views. No matter whether they are ultimately "pro” or "con” an issue they are empowered with facts, perspectives, and references. Registration is not required. NEW Nov 2015

DOCSTeach - this site sponsored by the National Archives is devoted to using primary documents from U.S. History to generate classroom activities. The home screen provide options to browse ready to use activities, browse thousands of primary documents grouped by topic, or create your own activities by using one of seven available tools, each of which guides you to create an activity with a specific purpose such as finding a sequence, focusing on details, making connections, mapping history, seeing the big picture, weighing the evidence and interpreting data. NEW Oct 2014

Achieve the Core - ELA Lessons - this site includes hundreds of annotated ELA lessons aligned with the CCR standards that are intended to highlight one or more of the ELA shifts. Featured at the 2016 Annual CCR Conference are the Text Set Project "Expert Packs". The are fully developed lessons that feature text sets including several related readings to build student background knowledge and vocabulary. UPDATED Oct 2016

Saylor Academy Open Textbooks - Saylor Academy, one of the providers of free MOOC courses that are listed below, also provide 100+ free textbooks for students and educators. Teachers looking for high complexity reading materials to prepare their students for success in college, should consider using sections from these books Some examples include many introductory College subjects as well as courses on College Success,Steps to Job Success, Business Writing, and Introduction to Algebra. NEW Feb 2016

OpenStax College - OpenStax College is a nonprofit organization committed to improving access to free quality learning materials. All textbooks are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable, accurate, and meet the scope and sequence requirements of most courses. Teachers looking for high complexity reading materials to prepare their students for success in college, should consider using single chapters from these book in subjects of interest to students. Some examples of appropriate subject areas are U.S. History, Biology, Psychology, Economics and Algebra. OpenStax College is an initiative of Rice University and is made possible through the generous support of several philanthropic foundations. NEW Feb 2016

Lexile Framework for Reading Complexity - the College Career Readiness (CCR)standards use lexile scores to evaluate the complexity of reading material. This site provides several features that will assist you in selection of reading materials for your students. The Quick Book Search textbox allows you to enter a title or author name to locate the Lexile score of the book. The Find a Book option allows you to view a large list of books between a selected Lexile range. The Lexile Analyzer provides a tool which allows you to paste text to have it evaluated for Lexile level. NEW Oct 2014

Lexile by Chapter Guides - this subsection of the above site explores the text complexity within a large number of texts by providing Lexile measures for every chapter in the text. Each guide includes a graph and table displaying the Lexile information to help educators, parents, and students better understand where the peaks and valleys of complexity reside within a text. NEW Aug 2016

English Worksheets Land - this site provides 1000s of free K-5 level printable worksheets directly aligned to the ELA Common Core Standards. Although these worksheets currently are limited to level 5 and lower, they provide complete coverage all of the CCR Reading Literature (RL) and Language (L) standards with a large number of worksheets available for each standard. This allows TRA teachers to select those topics that are appropriate for adult students. NEW Nov 2014

English for Everyone - this website provides teachers with a great free resource of printable English worksheets. All Literacy, Pre-GED, GED and English as a Second Language (ESOL) teachers and students should be able to benefit from this website. In the left margin you will find an index containing hundreds of topics that lead to quality teaching materials. If you use any of the materials on this website make sure to retain their logo in the top left corner of the worsheet. NEW Mar 2016 - shared by Worcester

Reading Horizons Instructor Workshop -this link is for TRA teachers who are using the Reading Horizons program and have been given a login and password. This will allow you to access an online workshop provided by Reading Horizons which will enhance your knowledge of the features of the program. NEW Jan 2014

Townsend Press Learning Center -this site has supplementary exercises to accompany Townsend Press vocabulary and grammar books. Although you need to create an account to get full access, guest exercises are also available. NEW Jan 2013

Free Language Stuff - at this site you can find hundreds of free language worksheets and activities in more than 20 areas including parts of speech, idioms,sentence structure, verb tense,irregular past tense,antonyms and synonyms,following directions,comparatives and superlative, auxillary verbs and many others. NEW Feb 2015 - Worcester

Top 100 Non-Fiction Books -this site provides a list of the 100 most frequently read non-fiction books for each College and Career Readiness grade band (A-E)classified by both the ATOS Readability level and student interest level. UPDATED Dec 2014

Top 100 Fiction Books -this site provides a list of the 100 most frequently read fiction books for each College and Career Readiness grade band (A-E)classified by both the ATOS Readability level and student interest level. NEW Dec 2014

CC Better Lesson - This site claims to provide over 3000 free fully developed Common Core aligned lessons in both Math and ELA developed by Master teachers. ELA lessons are developed for each grade level divided into the CC categories Reading Informational Text, Reading Literature, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language. Levels K-5 also include the category Foundational Reading. NEW May 2014

English for Everyone - this website provides teachers with a great free resource of printable English worksheets. All Literacy, Pre-GED, GED and English as a Second Language (ESOL) teachers and students should be able to benefit from this website. In the left margin you will find an index containing hundreds of topics that lead to quality teaching materials. If you use any of the materials on this website make sure to retain their logo in the top left corner of the worksheet. NEW Feb 2013 - shared by Worcester

MCAS 2016 Test Items - MCAS released test items for all grades and subjects provide teachers and students with a wealth of practice exercises of sufficient difficulty and problem solving intensity for use in class and homework. The previous released MCAS test items are also available below by year. UPDATED Oct 2016

___MCAS 2015 Test Items
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Fast Forward Massachusetts - allows you to access streaming video lessons from PBS Literacy Links through a special arrangement with the State of Masschusetts. The former GED Connection series is no longer available on the site because it is being redone to reflect changes in pedagogy and approved testing instruments. However Pre-GED Connections and Workplace Essential Skills are still available. All video series include Mathematics videos. Learners can easily access videos at home on a computer, tablet or smart phone or anywhere there is a connection. These videos are free to all MA residents. Updated MAY 2014

Ideas for Teaching Writing

Strategies for Teaching Writing - a helpful listing of many strategies for teaching writing skills.  Strategies are listed by each phase of the writing process and from the perspective of both student and teacher strategies.

Teacher's Desk Lesson Plans - A collection of over 250 lesson ideas for Spelling, Writing, English, Reading, and Vocabulary activities, with a few extras thrown-in all grade levels. This site also contains many of its lessons in fun game formats.

Puzzlemaker - The Puzzlemaker is a cool tool to create math blocks, word searches or crosswords (you just submit the words), letter tiles, cryptograms and more. These types of puzzles could be very useful in math, spelling and vocabulary instruction. . . and can make learning sometimes difficult spelling words a fun activity!

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