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Reading and Vocabulary Resources

HiSET Test - this is the official site of the HiSET test, which is the official High School Equivalency test in Massachusetts. This link will bring you directly to the section that is designed for test takers. You will be able to create your own personal HiSet account and access it at any time. You will be able to locate HiSet test centers and schedule yourself to take the tests. You will also find information about the content of the test as well as access both free and paid practice tests. NEW Jan 2016

News ELA - great site for students looking for non-fiction reading material that is appropriately challenging for them. News ELA provide multiple new articles each day with each article available in five (5) reading levels; 500 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 provide free with no advertisements. (recommended by Salem and Brockton) NEW Aug 2014

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 Sep 2015

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 and divided into 18 reading levels. There are over 20 stories per level and all include an audio track for reading along. The stories are on topics that are of interest to adults and which help them become more informed consumers, parents, employees, citizens and community members. Topic cover areas such as health and wellness, civics, employment, 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 . Choose level 1 stories for levels 0.7 to 4.5 and level 2 stories for levels 5.0 to 8.0. UPDATED Dec 2015

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. You will need to 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. Students may read any of the 11 currently available stories for free. If teachers set up a group book to read, students may read previous episodes of the story to catch up, but must wait for the scheduled release date for new episodes. NEW Jan 2016 - Brockton

America in Class - this site provides a huge collection of primary resources including historical documents, literary texts, and works of art. These are all organized by chronological topic with notes and discussion questions included. NEW Jan 2016 - 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

Vocabulary Drilling for Free Rice - This site allows you to earn free rice for needy countries by practicing your vocabulary. For each word you get correct 20 grains of rice will be donated to the UN World Food Program. Use the Options button to adjust the current vocabulary level for a particular student. You may also choose to have the program remember your previous highest level and amount of rice donated.

English Vocabulary Exercises - This site includes over 760 vocabulary exercises containing more than 2000 words used in sentence context. The two major divisions of the site are General vocabulary exercises and Academic vocabulary exercises. The Academic word list has been recommended in the Massachusetts ABE ELA Frameworks as a great source for Tier 2 words. Another useful feature of this website are the inclusion of weekly study guides. NEW July 2012

Lemons for Literacy - This program is similar to the vocabulary drilling for rice site which precedes this link. It is an initiative produced by Reading Horizons in an effort to cure illiteracy. It provides free vocabulary practice to everyone and the lemonade which results provides free literacy materials for those in need.

SAS Curriculum Pathways - English Language Arts - SAS delivers online curriculum resources that target higher-order thinking skills with a proven impact on increasing student learning and teacher effectiveness – at no cost to US middle and high schools, virtual schools, home schools and other teaching and learning environments. NEW Sep 2013

Marshall Adult Education Student Lessons - This link sponsored by the Marshall Adult Education provides a series of lessons for low level readers and ESOL learners. Topics range in a variety of categories including Communication, Consumer Economics, Community Resources, Health, Employment, Government, Computation, and Grammar. NEW April 2012

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

GED Connections - allows you to access streaming video lessons from PBS Literacy Links including GED Connections, Pre-GED Connections and Workplace Essential Skills. All three 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. NEW Feb 2013

MCAS (2012) 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.
MCAS (2011) MCAS (2010) MCAS (2009) MCAS (2008) MCAS (2007) NEW Feb 2013

Wictionary - This is a free online dictionary that you may use to look up the meaning of any English word. Designed as the companion to Wikipedia, Wictionary has grown beyond a standard dictionary and now includes a thesaurus, a rhyme guide, phrase books, language statistics etymologies, pronunciations, sample quotations, synonyms, antonyms, translations and extensive appendices. It will include not only the definition of a word, but also enough information to understand it. As with all Wikis, it may be edited by anyone following the proper rules.

Short and Long Vowel Sounds - Lowest level word lists from the AAA Spelling site that has been conveniently arranged to provide help with specific vowel sounds needed for ESOL and Literacy Level students. See below for additional AAA Spelling and Vocabulary levels for students needing higher level word lists.

AAA Vocabulary Lessons - This site has vocabulary lessons comprised of 30 lists of vocabulary words for each for grade 1 to 8. The word list are the same as that used for the AAA Spelling Lessons.

AAA Spelling Lessons - This site has spelling lessons comprised of 30 lists of vocabulary word for each for grade 1 to 8. The word list are the same as that used for the AAA Vocabulary Lessons. One of the many options available is to hear the word pronounced and then attempt to spell it. This site should be helpful for ABE and ESOL students.

News for You Archive - This website is connected with the News for You publication. It includes an archive of a couple of stories from each issue. These stories include an audio track to assist students in reading the story sentence by sentence if desired. It also include a teacher guide and answers to the crossword puzzle.

Written Alphabet - This E.L. Easton site is useful to ESL and beginning students. Students can click on a letter of the alphabet and hear how it sounds. The alphabet song is available for playing and practicing. There is also a link to in depth vowel and consonant sounds.

Learn to Read - This site has several levels of online activities for emergent readers including phonemic awareness, phonics, sight words and stories to read.

Phonics Online - a number of online games provided by Sadlier-Oxford which cover PreK through 6th grade reading skills. Skills range from picture matching to alphabet, long and short   vowel sounds, r controlled words, consonent blends, diagraphs, dipthongs, prefixes, suffixes, roots, contractions, antonyms, and synonyms.

SoftSchool Phonics - Includes phonics flash cards, games, and worksheets in a variety of of areas including alphabet,long and short vowels, r controlled words, diagraphs, blends, and diphthongs NEW Feb 2012

Readquarium - This collection of online reading activities for beginning readers inludes sections on phonics and phonemes, sight words, fluency and books, vocabulary and comprehension.\

Easy Stories to Read - A collection of online stories for beginning readers

Word of the Day - For those who are trying to improve or increase their vocabulary, you might like to try this site.  Each day delivers a different word, with pronunciation, definition and example sentences.

Word IQ - Search for words definitions, ebooks and articles.

Word Games - Several word games which are updated on a daily basis.

Vocabulary University - If your favorite occupation on a Sunday morn is completing the NY Times crossword puzzle, then this may be a site for you! However, you don't have to be a puzzle whiz to make use of this site. It is geared to different levels of difficulty. It can help both students and teachers, and can also aid in test prep.

Learning Resources - Site provided by CNN Western Literacy Network which devoted to improving adult reading and literacy skills through the use of previous CNN news stories which have been combined with a set of exercises to test student reading comprehension skills such as word use, vocabulary, sequence, reaching conclusions.

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