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Pros: Lots of varied activities -- from reading to math to fun.
Cons: Constant ads and superficial games.
Bottom Line: Funbrain has more ads than learning opportunities.
Funbrain promotes itself as being a helpful tool for students to use when they finish an assignment, or for teachers to use as a fill-in activity for students who have time for more practice -- and students could certainly kill some time on the site. Teachers could show some of the videos to the whole class or use the books as a read-aloud displayed on the screen.
If you do choose to use the site in class, you'll want to create a way to track students' progress. It’s unfortunate that there isn't a teacher dashboard on the site -- such an addition could help teachers know exactly where, and how well, their students are practicing.
Funbrain is a free resource that includes books, games, and videos for students. Students can browse content by grade level (pre-K to 8) or content (games, videos, reading, playground, and math zone). The home page also features the most popular games and activities as well as those newly added. Many of the games overlap multiple grade levels. Video series include Problem Solved, DC Super League, Young Justice, Kidz Bop, Highlights, and more. The reading library includes a solid collection of graphic novels and popular titles, like the Wimpy Kid series and Judy Moody books.
Teachers should be aware that multiple ads appear on every page, and students will watch a video ad before playing any game or watching any video.
While it bills itself as a learning site, Funbrain's purpose seems to be more about generating ad revenue. There are plenty of games and fun activities for kids on the site, but the depth of coverage, educationally speaking, is at best surface-level. Some helpful positives are the fun and engaging cartoons and arcade illustrations, as well as kids' ability to move around the arcade and board game. One great activity is Math Baseball, where two players can go head-to-head in a math competition and points are awarded based on the difficulty of each problem pitched.
However, for what the site offers in fun for students, it lacks in help. If students don't get an answer right or don’t advance to the next level, they're never given any help or a tutorial on how to do better with the task. It would also be beneficial for the site to include some vocabulary words or writing prompts related to the readings.