Friday, 22 February 2013

February 22, 2013 - A Few 'Tools' to Help 'Construct' Meaning

Hello Everyone,

This week I have a few fantastic websites which can be used as reference tools for yourself and your students. Enjoy!

The Teacher’s Gateway to Special Education
The Teacher’s Gateway to Special Education ( was created by the Ontario Teacher’s Federation and not only offers teaching and environmental strategies for various diagnosed conditions but also information about the Special Education Process itself.  By clicking ‘show’ on the individual pens at the bottom of the page, then by moving your mouse over the various topics they reveal definitions of each student need as well as links to specialized pages for that need.  The linked pages offer teacher strategies (broken down into instructional, environmental and assessment strategies) and links to additional resources such as Ministry documents, newsletter sign-ups, websites and various associations.  I have found this website to be especially helpful in creating and updating IEPs.

Word Hippo
Word Hippo is an all-in-one reference tool for students in a variety of grades.  By entering a word in one of the various search boxes, Word Hippo will define the word, provide a meaning, provide an antonym, pronounce the word, provide rhyming words, place the word in many different contexts, and translate the word into various languages. A one-stop site for working with words.

Lexipedia  ( is a fun online visual thesaurus. You simply type in the word of your choosing and click ‘sumbit’ and the site creates a web of synonyms, antonyms and fuzzynyms (a word having a loose or fuzzy semantic relation to the chosen word).  One of the great features of this website is that it breaks down the synonyms, etc. in to verbs, nouns, and other grammatical terms and colour co-ordinates them for easier understanding and visualization.  If your student’s writing is experiencing a case of the ‘said’s you may wish to encourage them to spice up their vocabulary with the Lexipedia.

If you have any suggestions or would like to see resources for a particular subject or program, please feel free to share.  I’m always looking for new topics and suggestions! 

Thanks for reading!

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