How I Use It
I teach technology integration to students in grades PreK-5th grade. I generally see most classes once a week, twice if lucky, for 45 minutes. The reason I chose this platform to use with my PreK through 1st grade students is because it provides more than just the academic foundation they need regarding ELA and Math. Specifically when used with a laptop, students are learning how to power on the laptop, open the web browser, find the bookmarked website (which I have done for them), select their class, find their own names by using the scroll bar (which teaches them how to use the touch pad instead of touch screen), then navigate through the website. When I uploaded the .csv roster files, I chose the level that I felt would be appropriate for their grades. I tend to start on a lower level to allow all students the opportunity to grow and not get frustrated. The higher students benefit from this because it can't help to review what they already know. Plus they aren't held back because they just move further on their "Learning Path". So in addition to leaning academic areas and the proper usage of a laptop or computer, they incorporate the arts as well as real life situations like shopping! They earn tickets and are able to spend them on various things.
Overall, this is a must for all early education teachers and it is FREE for schools! You can't beat it. It allows you to track their progress and data. Another plus is that you can assign lessons for homework and print (or email) individual codes for them to log in at home. This part is free as long as they enter the code, but ONLY allows access to assigned lessons, not the whole site as used in the classroom. Another plus is that basically no matter where they navigate, they're learning. Only downfall is the "levels" on some of the activities. Students don't always know to change them, so you may have to explain some of these little things prior. It's fun, engaging, and I love sitting with the students when they reach a new milestone!