Review by Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2018
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ABCmouse.com - Early Learning Academy

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Busy early elementary curriculum teaches all the basics, much more

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • Social Studies
  • English Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science

Skills
N/A
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
Pre-K–2
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (3 Reviews)

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Pros: Colorful virtual classroom offers a variety of learning activities.

Cons: Number of activities and ways to navigate can seem overwhelming.

Bottom Line: Activities are sometimes uninspired, but are generally effective for learning; kids may be distracted by the shopping rewards.

Students will enjoy playing ABCmouse.com - Early Learning Academy, and the activities reinforce most academic topics for early elementary school grades. The app works seamlessly with the website, which both offer the same content and user profiles when you sign in to your account. Offer it as a station activity for students to work through on their own while you work with students in small groups or individually. Check out the progress reports to see how kids are doing. Kids will likely spend as much time shopping for rewards with their tickets as they do on the other activities. Help make that a learning experience too by focusing on the embedded learning there, as students work with numbers counting their tickets and buying prizes. Teachers can plan individualized lessons, create assignment playlists, and customize the material for their students more easily on the companion website.

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ABCmouse.com - Early Learning Academy is the companion app to ABCmouse.com, a website that offers a comprehensive preschool curriculum for 2- to 8-year-olds. Teachers can sign up for a free account online and use the same login for the app. Kids explore different activities in a virtual world, visiting a classroom, zoo, farm, and map. They can go directly to the day's featured activity or work through a learning path that features activities for their level, which can be customized by teachers.

Content covers a range of Common Core-aligned topics. Young kids can learn letter and number skills as well as animal facts through simple games, books, puzzles, and coloring pages. Older kids explore more complex topics such as algebra, 2D and 3D shapes, map skills, civil rights, reading comprehension and fluency, and physical sciences. Fun stuff includes customizing an avatar, choosing a pet hamster and an aquarium, and shopping using tickets earned in the activities. Teachers can track each kid's progress and set the home page navigation to be in Spanish or English.

With over 9,000 activities, content seems almost endless, and kids will discover solid new learning activities every time they play. But there's so much content, it can easily feel overwhelming. At every point of play, kids are presented with multiple options: learning path, classroom, zoo, map, farm, songs, and featured activities. More choices are offered within each of those categories. Even the rewards are overwhelming, with options to buy items for an avatar, room, hamster, or aquarium, plus an option to count tickets earned that day by ones, twos, fives, or tens. The curriculum is solid, however, even if the quality of activities can vary. A mixture of content types -- including a library with original and National Geographic Kids titles, music, videos, puzzles, coloring, and interactive games -- does help to keep kids engaged. Teachers can customize kids' learning level, time allowed in-app, and more, creating a highly tailored learning experience.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Learning activities are brief and as enjoyable as traditional worksheets, coloring pages, and puzzles can be. Fun factor relies on the ticket-based reward system.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Curriculum begins with Toddler Time (numbers 1 to 5, colors, and vocabulary), and advances through Level 10, which includes word families and sight words and using math, including patterns, basic addition, and subtraction.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Teachers can view student progress, customize challenge levels, set in-app time limits, and print worksheets for offline work.


Teacher Reviews

(See all 3 reviews) (3 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Dr Kash C. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Mouse Gets the ABCheese!
This product is a great way to actively engage students to learn and meet common core standards. I love the various opportunities for students to master a skill they were struggling with. It would help to improve my teaching as another tool to assess and engage not only my students but inform and include my parents to assist their child at home.
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