How I Use It
I use ABCya in a variety of ways. Depending on the particular skill(s) I am highlighting, I have used one or more of the activities as an engagement piece, or review activity. There are tools that can be used to create task outcomes, such as "Make an Animation" or "Story Maker." There are also teacher tools that have been very useful and engaging, such as the "Random Name Picker." I have also used ABCya as a choice activity when students are finished the required task(s) for class. They are instructed to select an activity on the appropriate grade level. Advanced students can go up a level as needed, and students who need more support can pick an activity on a lower level as needed. What hasn't worked is leaving my younger students to pick an activity without support. Many times they select an activity with content that is too advanced. Instead, they need more oversight to ensure their activity is appropriate.
I enjoy using this tool with my students because it offers a large variety of activities and skills for students to practice. It is engaging for my students, and they typically get excited when I introduce it during part of my lesson. ABCya offers skills from PreK through grade 5 which is extremely helpful for me because I teach multiple grades. I have been able to use this tool during different parts of my lessons. It works very well as an incentive and skill reinforcement. It's free and does not require any logins, which increases the ease of use. However, with the free access, we have ads. The ads aren't terrible, but it does require some training with my younger students to instruct them not to click the ads (sometimes they look like the links to the games or activities). Every page they view on ABCya has at least one ad, usually more. They don't need to be bombarded with these, but again, it is a free tool to use. Despite this, I will continue to use ABCya on the laptops in my classroom.