How I Use It
In class I use ABCya for a variety of purposes, depending on the grade level and what tool I am using. In general I use ABCya as an optional activity for early finishers when they are done their classwork. The ABCya animate tool in particular is useful for teaching the basics of animation, and I always use it at the start of my animation unit. For kindergarten students I use the keyboard practice game in the beginning of the year to get them started with using the computer and learning where keys are. This helps them eventually be able move past the generic login and to log in independently using their own unique credentials later in the year.
ABCya is a gaming website with potential. Students certainly love it, but unless you are using a specific game for a specific purpose I'm not sure students are learning much. There are awesome activities for younger learners that teach letter sounds, basic math, color matching, etc. The games give oral as well as written instruction, so students can understand and play, regardless of reading level. The games are also divided by grade level, with some games categorized under multiple grades, so students can choose games according to ability. You can also choose games based on what skill you are practicing, like math, reading, etc. It has the potential to help students practice basic skills that they are having trouble with. However if given free reign students tend to choose activities that don't have much educational value, or choose games that are below their skill level. Overall I think that the value of ABCya depends on how you use it, and it's use in the classroom needs to be monitored to make sure students are choosing level appropriate games.