Big Deal Media Amazing Resources for Educators!


Explore Language, Connect Classrooms, Integrate New Americans & More

Sponsored By:

Big-Value, Low-Cost/No-Cost Resources

Cut to the Core

¿Dónde está mi Coach? Built from the ground up for the Common Core State Standards, Triumph Learning’s Common Core Coach ELA series, the 2015 Teacher’s Choice Award winner, will be available in Spanish for grades 3, 4 and 5 in the spring! Tutor de Estándares Comunes, Artes del lenguaje is ideal for Dual Language Instruction, including Two-Way Immersion classrooms. All lessons include explicit teacher-led instruction, collaborative peer work and independent practice. With this instructional anchor, you can implement the Common Core State Standards with confidence. Preorder your class set today and save 15% by calling (800) 338-6519.

Click Here to Download Free Sample Lessons

SPOTLIGHT! On the History of the English Language

What we know as the English language today has evolved over thousands of years, influenced by migrating tribes, conquering armies and peaceful trade. This infographic traces the history of the English language from its beginnings, which developed in India and traveled north, becoming distinct as peoples divided across Europe, to modern English, which now has words taken or derived from more than 350 languages.

Sample "Borrowed" Words

English has gone through many periods in which large numbers of words from a particular language were borrowed, or “loaned.” These periods coincide with times of major cultural contact between English speakers and those speaking other languages. The Words in English website, created by a linguist at Rice University, includes a small sampling of the loan words that came into English in different periods and from different languages.

Click Here to Access Lists of Loan Words

Click Here to Visit Words in English Website

Introduce "Blood Relatives" helps Spanish speakers learn English and English speakers learn Spanish. Many English words and Spanish words have Latin or Greek roots and the same meaning; these words are called cognates. The Spanish language borrows many English words, and vice versa, English borrows many Spanish words. By knowing a few simple cognate rules, students can quickly expand their Spanish or English vocabulary. organizes the list of cognates in alphabetical order (A–Z listing), by classroom subjects and by the ending rule of the cognates. Browse from English to Spanish or from Spanish to English.

Click Here to Access Lists of Cognates—English to Spanish

Click Here to Access Lists of Cognates—Spanish to English

Plus: For languages such as Spanish and English, most of the words that look and sound the same do have the same meaning, making them an instinctive way to learn a new language. This is because the two languages share many of the same Latin and Greek roots. However, false cognates also exist, and they can be the Achilles’ heel for ESL students. provides a list of the most frequently confused false cognates for Spanish-speaking English learners.

Click Here to Access Lists of False Cognates

Build Language and Literacy

Word Raider is an educational video game that teaches academic vocabulary, grammar, sentence construction, complex text and more! Whether students play during class or for homework, the game is designed to help English language learners and English-only students prepare for state tests and the Common Core State Standards.

Click Here to Try Game for Free

Plus: A free interactive dictionary presents contextualized meanings for every word. Animated meanings, student-friendly definitions and sample sentences help build word knowledge and application. Students encounter word meanings in multiple exposures and a variety of contexts, such as English language arts, science, math and social studies. Visual, interactive and text-based scaffolds expose students to 26 different tasks for every word—helping students learn each word in 26 different ways.

Click Here to Access Free Interactive Dictionary

"Winning" Funding Finds

Contribute to the Field of Language Assessment

The Educational Testing Service’s (ETS) TOEFL Outstanding Young Scholar Award recognizes an individual under the age of 40 whose scholarship or other major professional activities have made an outstanding contribution to the field of foreign or second language assessment. The recipient of the award will receive $2,000 (payable in US dollars) and a commemorative plaque to be presented at an appropriate conference.

Deadline: Nominations due by February 15, 2015

Click Here for More Information

Move Beyond Words

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s Adult Literacy Grants are available to nonprofit organizations that provide direct service to adults in need of literacy assistance. Organizations must provide help in one of the following instructional areas: adult basic education, GED or high school equivalency preparation and English language acquisition. The maximum grant amount is $15,000.

Deadline: Applications due by February 26, 2015 (11 p.m. CST); grant announcement to be made on May 15, 2015

Click Here for More Information

Plus: The Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s Youth Literacy Grants provide funding to schools, public libraries and nonprofit organizations to help students who are performing below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading. Grant funding is intended to assist in implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs; purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives; or purchasing books, materials or software for literacy programs. The maximum grant amount is $4,000.

Deadline: Applications due by May 21, 2015 (11:00 p.m. CST); grant announcement to be made on September 10, 2015

Click Here for More Information

Honor Academically Outstanding Hispanic Students

The College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) identifies academically outstanding Hispanic/Latino high school students. Each year NHRP honors nearly 5,000 of the highest-scoring students from the approximately 250,000 Hispanic/Latino juniors who take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). These students are from the United States, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Guam, the Mariana Islands and the Marshall Islands as well as US citizens attending schools abroad. Approximately 200 of the top-scoring PAA students from Puerto Rico are also included. Although NHRP does not provide a financial reward, being named is an important academic recognition, and this achievement should be indicated on students’ college applications. NHRP makes this information available to subscribing colleges and universities that are particularly interested in communicating with academically exceptional Hispanic/Latino students.

Deadlines: October of junior year: Students take the PSAT/NMSQT and designate themselves as Hispanic/Latino. May of junior year: Eligible students are invited to apply online. July of junior year: Application period closes. September of junior year: Recognized students are mailed certificates, and schools are sent a list of recognized students.

Click Here for More Information

Find Curated, Current Funding Opportunities

GetEdFunding is a free website sponsored by CDW•G to help educators and institutions find the funds they need in order to supplement their already stretched budgets. GetEdFunding hosts a collection of thousands of grants and other funding opportunities culled from federal, state, regional and community sources and available to public and private, preK–12 educators, schools and districts, higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations that work with them. GetEdFunding offers customized searches by six criteria, including 43 areas of focus, eight content areas and any of the 21st century themes and skills that support your curriculum. After registering on the site, you can save the grant opportunities of greatest interest and then return to them at any time. This rich resource of funding opportunities is expanded, updated and monitored daily.

Click Here to Visit Website

Professional Learning Plus

Explore the World with Other Educators

The nonprofit Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO) runs professional development travel programs designed for all nationalities of K–12 and university educators and administrators as well as retired educators. Browse the 2015 GEEO program offerings online. As part of the application process, GEEO asks that each educator participant create a classroom action plan for how they will share their GEEO overseas experience with their students. It can be a simple lesson plan or a program that stretches throughout the school year. On the GEEO website, you will find some examples of action plans that participants have submitted in the past. Feel free to use these as inspiration when creating your own action plan. You can sort these plans by subject matter, destination or contributor by clicking “List By.”

Click Here for More Information

Click Here to Access Example Action Plans

Advance Immigrants' Integration

Networks for Integrating New Americans is a national initiative funded by the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE), US Department of Education, which is positioning adult education programs as key contributors to place-based, multisector networks working to advance immigrants’ civic, economic and linguistic integration. The Networks initiative has five networks located in California, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington State. A free national webinar, titled The Network Advantage for Advancing Immigrants’ Linguistic, Economic and Civic Integration, is being offered on February 19, 2015, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EST). The webinar will feature work in progress and strategies employed by three of the five networks participating in the Networks for Integrating New Americans initiative. The Lancaster County Refugee Coalition will discuss how the network approach is helping them develop career pathways for refugees in Lancaster–Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Neighbors United Network will share their efforts to advance economic integration of high-skilled immigrants for whom English is a major barrier in Boise, Idaho. The White Center Promise Network will focus on ESOL strategies for civic integration led by Highline College in White Center, Washington.

Click Here to Register for Free Webinar

Identify Potential English Learners

The US Department of Education and the US Department of Justice have jointly released guidance and additional resources to ensure that English language learners (ELLs) have access to a high-quality education. The guidance reiterates schools’ responsibilities, such as identifying ELLs in a timely manner, avoiding unnecessary segregation of these students and providing information about school programs and services to parents with limited English proficiency in a language they understand. The departments have released a toolkit (PDF)—the first in a series to support states and districts as they work to meet their obligations—to help districts identify ELLs. The website is accessible in English and Spanish; the resources are available in English and other languages.

Click Here to Access Guidance Resources

Click Here to Download First Chapter of EL Toolkit

On-the-Go Learning

Adapt Methods to the Reality of Language

English Monstruo is a free app containing eight games designed to help students learn verb conjugation. English Monstruo was developed by researchers at Cambridge University, who examined the results of 200,000 exams to determine the words that give Spanish speakers the most difficulty when taking an English exam. The games in the English Monstruo app contain activities ranging from fill-in-the-blank to sorting words to replacing incorrect words with correct words. Each game has a series of levels to work through to earn points and unlock increasingly more difficult games. To access all eight games, a player needs to first earn the maximum points in the first six games in the app.

Mobile Devices: iPad; Android

Cost: Free

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

Click Here to Visit Google Play Store

Show Shades of Meaning

The Pic Collage app by Cardinal Blue allows users to take and insert new photos, photos from their smartphone’s camera roll or photos from the web, Facebook or Instagram. The app’s tools let users add a background, frame, text and stickers. An example shows how fourth graders used the app to demonstrate their growing understandings of erosion. The app is useful to extend vocabulary knowledge of words with multiple meanings and shades of meaning. Students can insert a photo frame and then, next to the photo, insert text containing the vocabulary word. Options for sharing a Pic Collage include Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Instagram, iMessage and email. In the app’s Contests section, students can create a visual response to others, not just a text response, to get shout-outs and more followers as well as win awesome prizes.

Mobile Devices: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch

Cost: Free

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

Connect Words Semantically

Developed by TransCreative Software, WordBook (Universal) is a resourceful English dictionary and thesaurus that contains audio pronunciations, synonyms, etymologies, bookmarking, anagrams and reference saving for the ease of students. Specifically, the app features 23,000 root word origins (etymologies); 120,000 pronunciation guides in International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and other notations; spoken pronunciations for all entries; automatic spellchecker with popup spelling suggestions; built-in thesaurus and word links connecting words semantically; index, wildcard and anagram search capabilities; Words of the Day—and more.

Mobile Devices: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch

Cost: $2.99

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

Worth-the-Surf Websites

Play a Global Guessing Game

Mystery Skype is an educational game that was invented by teachers and is played by two classrooms on Skype. The aim of the game is to guess the location of the other classroom by having students ask one another questions. The game, which is suitable for all age groups, can be used to teach subjects such as geography, history, languages, mathematics and science. Visit the Mystery Skype website and see the game in action. Then sign up to join the Mystery Skype global community.

Click Here to Find a Mystery Skype Class

Cultivate and Expand Young Minds

The Kid World Citizen website presents an ever-expanding database of engaging, age-appropriate games and activities gathered from around the globe that are organized by topic and by country. In addition, the site features global celebrations, holidays and festivals; recipes; multicultural art projects; foreign films for children; world music; reviews on children’s literature related to world cultures; map-reading, geography and geo-literacy activities; family travel; service projects that reach both locally and globally; and many other activities that help cultivate and expand young minds.

Click Here to Visit Website

See Language and Ethnicities Reflected Through Time

Ever since the founding of the United States, immigration laws have been put in place, reformed and dismantled. These laws reflected the needs of the time, yet often they also represented political statements of people’s perceptions, which have cycled back and forth from favorable to hostile. This timeline of the History of Immigration in the USA looks at the immigration policies and associated rules put in place, from the forefathers’ first steps to the challenges faced in today’s globalized world.

Click Here to Visit Website


Big Deal Media provides timely, relevant resources in a rapidly changing educational environment, created with insight and attention to detail by seasoned educational publishing professionals and practicing K–12 educators. “Like” Big Deal Media on Facebook and follow Big Deal Media on Twitter ( to learn how other educators are using Big Deal Media resources and to share your own ideas and experiences.

Join Big Deal Media’s inclusive community by subscribing to Everyone CAN! Essentials for Educators of Special Needs Students, a free quarterly enewsletter of curated, easily accessible resources to serve this group of educators. Find sources of funding, research-based developmental strategies, mobile learning innovations, assistive technology collections and truly useful online interactive environments, including specialized resources to partner with parents and more.

Subscribe to The Big Deal Book of Technology’s “Amazing Resources for Educators” on the edWeb to get frequent updates on grant deadlines, free resources and hot, new websites for 21st century learning. And, of course, you can share any great new resources that you’ve unearthed!

Explore the Web Wednesday feature on Big Deal Media, where you’ll find new interactive experiences and resources that incorporate 21st century themes and skills into the study of core subjects.


« Welcome to Our Global Community – February 10, 2015

In this Issue:

Big-Value, Low-Cost/No-Cost Resources

· Cut to the Core
· SPOTLIGHT! On the History of the English Language
· Sample "Borrowed" Words
· Introduce "Blood Relatives"
· Build Language and Literacy

"Winning" Funding Finds

· Contribute to the Field of Language Assessment
· Move Beyond Words
· Honor Academically Outstanding Hispanic Students
· Find Curated, Current Funding Opportunities

Professional Learning Plus

· Explore the World with Other Educators
· Advance Immigrants' Integration
· Identify Potential English Learners

On-the-Go Learning

· Adapt Methods to the Reality of Language
· Show Shades of Meaning
· Connect Words Semantically

Worth-the-Surf Websites

· Play a Global Guessing Game
· Cultivate and Expand Young Minds
· See Language and Ethnicities Reflected Through Time

Archive Search