After a summer filled of science classes at the beach, and math lessons at the lemonade stand, it is now time to head back to the classroom.
Hands on learning and personal one-on-one time in their home environment can be a powerful learning tool that doesn't need to be put on hold, just because school has started again. In fact, integrating the two options can bring to life what your child learns at school, and help resonate the new stream information that they will be taught in the classroom.
The following suggestions are some technology resources to help engage your child at home as they prepare to get back to class. With the continuous development of new educational websites / applications these are my top ten choices for kids in grades K-5 to start using right away:
1. Spelling City
It is place to create games and lessons with your own choice of words. You can also devise your own word list based on your child’s spelling words from school. For beginning readers, I highly recommend using the Dolch Basic Sight Vocabulary of 220 words. The Dolch words make up between 50-75% of all words used in school books, library books, newspapers, and magazines are in the (preschool thru Grade 3).
You can use the recommended words from this site: www.kidzone.ws/dolch/index.htm
2. ABC Ya.com
These games are organized by grade level and are a surefire way to get kids learning the basics from how to drag and drop on a screen to practicing their multiplication skills.
A great site for the beginning reader, taking the learner from letter sounds through to the basics of sentence structure.
The new poster project. A multi-media learning platform that allows students to show their learning by combining videos, text, images and sounds about a topic in a fun and visual way.
5. Hungry Fish
An educational application. Instead of an upset birdie who slings rocks, take your kids into the water to gobble up sums and products. You can download this app on to your portable device.
6. Word Abacus
An educational application. If you like playing Scrabble, you’ll love this app. I play alongside my kids on the iPad, combining letters to create words for a high score.
7. National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
It is a great website set up according to American grade levels. The levels don’t exactly match our learning outcomes in BC but the site allows you to search for topics that your child is working on in class to supplement their learning.
8. Cool Math Games
This site is not my personal favorite, but the kids love it and it reinforces basic math skills and number sense. How can I complain?
9. Ker Poof
This Disney sponsored site is a favorite for those kids wanting to be creative with words and images.
Your kids will have a blast creating a storybird, which is a short art-inspired story that they can write to share with others or just read and enjoy on their own.
Tried and true, these resources can really help engage your child in all of the wonderful knowledge that they are exposed to over the course of a school year. In particular, the ability for some these applications to be customized to your child’s interests or curriculum, is an extra bonus to further their learning where it matters.