"Golden" Interactive Web Sites
By Judith Maginnis Kuster
School has started, treatment schedules are probably established, and it's time to think about Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and new equipment and supplies. To get you in the mood for writing IEPs, enjoy a smile or two by checking IEPs by Dr. Seuss (http://medsped.soe.umd.umich.edu/belinda/iepsbydr.htm). For more smiles, check out the many "golden" interactive Web sites with free materials that can easily be adapted to treatment.
Interactive sites are especially fun if you have access to a "whiteboard," (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactive_whiteboard) which allows you to project your computer desktop in front of your classroom.
Game Aquarium (www.gamequarium.com/) has a multitude of treasures including
Woodlands Literacy Zone (www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/interactive/literacy/index.htm) links to activities about words and spellings, (including a link to the "Boggle"-like "Whomp" - www.fekids.com/kln/games/whomp/whomp.html), grammar and punctuation, writing, text work, and online stories.
ReadWriteThink (www.readwritethink.org/) offers a collection of online student materials (www.readwritethink.org/student_mat/index.asp) to support literacy learning in the K-12 classroom. Three of my favorite are:
Online Language Arts Games (www.teachervision.fen.com/reading-and-language-arts/games/5831.html) links to a large collection of links to materials for grades Pre-K through 12.
- What's in the Bag? (www.readwritethink.org/materials/in_the_bag/index.html) - game with clues provided for categorizing and vocabulary
- Family Word Sort (www.readwritethink.org/materials/wordfamily/) an activity for recognizing word patterns and learning about onset and rhyme
- Picture Match! (www.readwritethink.org/materials/picturematch/), which offers practice identifying beginning letters and short- and long-vowels sounds.
Funbrain (www.funbrain.com/kidscenter.html) has several games, including
Stay Afloat Guess the Word (www.funbrain.com/hangman/index.html) and MadLibs featuring parts of speech (www.funbrain.com/brain/ReadingBrain/ReadingBrain.html)
Internet4Classrooms (www.internet4classrooms.com/index.htm) offers a listing of links especially on "Language Arts", (www.internet4classrooms.com/lang_gen.htm), "Language Arts: elementary" (www.internet4classrooms.com/lang_elem.htm), "Language Arts: Elementary Reading and Writing" (www.internet4classrooms.com/lang_write_elem.htm)
QUIA (www.quia.com/shared) - templates can be used to create a variety of activities, including concentration, matching, battleship, jeopardy, hangman, and other fun formats. Enter "speech therapy" into the QUIA search engine to uncover more than 450 interactive activities. Check out
Language Guide (www.languageguide.org/english/) teaches vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation of several languages through pictures and audio. It has more than 60 pages of categorized English vocabulary from African animals to weather.
Scholastic (www.scholastic.com) offers many great activities, including
- The categorization and vocabulary-enriching activity "Nina Loves to Name Things" at home, in the store, restaurant, firehouse, farm, aquarium, supermarket, construction site, airport, museum, garden, and zoo (http://teacher.scholastic.com/ACTIVITIES/bll/nina/index.htm)
- I Spy (www.scholastic.com/ispy/play/healthyfun/index.asp)
- The Magic School Bus (www.scholastic.com/magicschoolbus/games/sound).
Grammar Blast (www.eduplace.com/kids/hme/k_5/quizzes/index.html) has interactive quizzes for grades 2-5.
Fun School's Language Games (http://funschool.kaboose.com/arcade/language/index.html) has games that build vocabulary and sequencing skills.
Judith Kuster is a professor in the Department of Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitation Services at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. All of Kuster's Internet columns are available in HTML format with active links (www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster4/leader.html), although URLs change and there is no guarantee that links from previous articles are still functional.
Kuster, JM, "Golden" Interactive Web Sites, The ASHA Leader, September 22, 2009.