Tech Rav
Discussions of Jewish EdTech

Friday, April 11, 2008

Resources for Teaching English Grammar and Writing

There is a wealth of online resources for teaching English grammar and writing. Many of these sites have interactive quizzes and multimedia presentations that utilize technology in exciting and dynamic ways. Please note that every phrase with a blue underline is a hyperlink. Click on it and you will be able access the website described.


Writing Resources from Red River College

Red River College offers a number of interactive grammar lessons. These lessons include PowerPoint Presentations on topics like Sentence Problems and Parallel Structure as well as Word documents and online quizzes. For example, here is a PowerPoint on Parallel Structure, a Word Document on Pronoun Reference and an interactive Sentence Structure Quiz.


Guide to Grammar and Writing by Capital Community College

This site contains short articles on issues related to English writing and grammar on the Word and Sentence level, Paragraph level, Essay and Research Paper level, as well as Quizzes and PowerPoint presentations.

Here is an article on Articles Determiners and Quantifiers. Notice that this piece also comes with 2 online quizzes. Here is a PowerPoint Presentation on Our Friend, the Semicolon, and over 170 interactive quizzes.


Grammar Girl: Hosted by Mignon Fogarty

This site contains illuminating and entertaining podcasts on grammatical topics like "Ending a Sentence With a Preposition" or "Formatting Hyperlinks". Besides the hip audio, each episode also includes a transcript for reading and reference.


Grammar Bytes!

This site contains Terms with definitions and examples, Interactive Exercises, and Handouts on topics like Comma Splices and Word Choice, Tips and Rules for fixing common grammatical mistakes. The tone of the site is a bit flippant but it appears to be challenging. It seeks to make grammar, a subject that most of our students find to be tedious and boring, fun.


Online Grammar Handbooks

Many classic grammar books are available for free in their entirety online. The best place to look for these and other public domain classics is http://bartleby.com/. For example, here is The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and The American Heritage Book of English Usage. The Internet Grammar of English out of University College London is an online grammar course complete with dozens of exercises. Here is an interesting Guide to Grammar and Style by Jack Lynch, a Professor at Rutgers University. 11 Rules of Writing is a concise guide to commonly broken writing rules with examples of correct and incorrect usage. Common Errors in English by Paul Brians is a listing of hundreds of common English errors with hyperlinked explanations. Modern English Grammar by Daniel Kies of College of Dupage is a Hypertext Book.


How I found these sites.

I used http://www.eduhound.com/, an excellent resource for K-12 Education.

They list recommended sites by category and subject. Here is their listing for Language Arts and Grammar: http://www.eduhound.com/showlinks.cfm?subj=Language%20Arts&skey=Grammar.

When I found a worthwhile site, I checked the recommended links which often pointed me to many more sites. Here is one example: http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/writing/writing.htm

I used Google sparingly since it brought up many sites of little educational value.

Testing Horace Mann

Here is a really interesting article about a Facebook scandal at the Horace Mann school: Testing Horace Mann. Something to think about...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Pesach Resources

With Pesach coming, here are a few Pesach resources that you might find to be helpful:

Friday, April 04, 2008

Tech Tips for Teacher: Torah Websites

There is a wealth of Torah websites available for lesson preparation and presentation. These are great to share with students when giving special projects both because it will help them in their research and because it will assist them later in life when they are away in university and might not have ready access to Jewish books but will almost always have easy access to Jewish resources over the web. Below is a partial list of some of the best websites with an emphasis on Tanach.


 

Project Genesis D'vray Torah on the Parshat Hashavuah, and Torah lessons in Jewish Law, ethics and much more.

Shema Yisrael Torah of all types and Jewish Bulletin Boards.

The Orthodox Union You can get D'vray Torah on Parshat Hashavuah by clicking here: http://www.ou.org/torah/index, shiurim on Nach here: http://www.ouradio.org/nach, links to many great Torah sites, and Kashrut information.

Judaic Seminar Excellent Pshat based shiurim on the Humash by the Sephardic Institute in Brooklyn.


 

http://www.shamash.org/tanach/dvar.shtml Comprehensive list of Torah on the web.


 

www.tanach.org Rabbi Leibtag's site with shiurim on much of Tanach as well as Virtual Classrooms that offer multi-media features.


 

www.vbm-torah.org Gush Virtual Beis Medrash.


 

www.yutorah.org Yeshiva University's center of shiurim is mostly focused on Gemara but also has many shiurim on Parsha as well.


 

MJ- RavTorah List Searchable archives of weekly D'var Torah based on Rav Soloveitchik.


 

613.org Great audio shiurim (lectures) on many Torah topics delivered over the web as well as notes from Rabbi Soloveitchik on Parshat Hashavuah and lesson plans from Shira Smiles on Melachim Bet, Yermiyahu, and Trei Asar.

Haftorahman Background and overviews to all of the weekly Haftorahs together with lots of beautiful art, fascinating archeology, and useful timelines.

Jewish Law Articles on different topics in Jewish law.

Mechon Mamre The entire Tanach (Bible) online in Hebrew and English.

Navigating the Bible II The whole Torah in Hebrew with Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan's excellent translation and footnotes. Also includes a Tikun and an audio reading of the Parsha with Taamim as well as many other useful tools.

Page of Mikra'ot Gedolot (Torah with Commentaries) Explained A great way to learn how to navigate a page of Torah with commentaries using hypertext.