How I Use It
I use this product so my students can practice all 4 ELL domains, listening, reading, speaking, and writing. I love that this product provides a placement test to make sure students are working at their individual level. On any given day, most of my students are working on different skills in eSpark based on their academic needs. There are great teacher resources, including simple videos to introduce eSpark to your students. Once students understand the routine of eSpark, they can easily work independently on their quests. Like any routine, It does take a bit for your students to become independent with eSpark, but even my 1st graders can work on it independently once I establish the routine. Some students can work on eSpark while I am meeting with small groups, or I can use eSpark when I am reteaching a skill. Once your students know the routine, it would be easy to use eSpark as one of your rotating reading or math stations in your classroom, like when you do Daily 5. If you have devices for all your students and they understand the routine, you can have your entire class work on eSpark as you meet individually with students or with your small groups.
I have been using eSpark for over four years and my students continue to enjoy using it to learn new skills at their level. I love that I do not have to assign anything because eSpark keeps sending new skills to students based on their appropriate academic level and needs. A quest starts with a pre-test on a skill. If a students gets 100% on the pre-test, it moves them to the next skill. If a student does not get 100% on the pre-test, students are automatically given 5-10 or more short skill based videos and academic practice games. eSpark automatically adds the apps to their iPad or computer as they work through the quest to learn and/or practice a skill . At the end of the quest. students take a post test. If they pass the test with 80% or better they move onto my favorite part, making a video. Students have to make a video explaining what they learned in their quest and this video is right there embedded in eSpark. I have my students, 2nd to 4th grade, write a script and practice reading their script with a partner before actually make their video. My first graders have to use a drawing and words to make their video until later in the school year when they can write sentneces. My students love making the videos. If students do not pass the post test, eSpark automatically redirects students to complete more practice on the skill before they are given the post test again. eSpark also sends me an email each Monday letting me know if any of my students are struggling with a skill and gives me resources to reteach that skill to the struggling student. On Wednesday, eSpark sends me another email letting me know who completed a quest so I remember to score their videos. eSpark is comprehensive and I find it easy to use.