You can use the online activities to allow kids to freely explore letters and numbers. These activities are relevant for all young kids learning to read, but could be especially helpful for kids who are a bit slower learning English. If you have kids whose home language is included in the Literacy Center's offerings (Spanish, French, German), you could let them develop pre-literacy skills in that language, which they can then scaffold and compare to the English version. Alternatively, you could use the different languages to introduce some basic foreign language vocabulary. Printable practice sheets are helpful for homework or in-class activities that allow kids to practice writing letters, numbers, and words.Continue reading Show less
Literacy Center Education Network is a website that offers a collection of very simple online and print literacy activities. The target audience: kids learning English as a second language or dual-language learners, though the content is relevant for any kid learning to read. Online activities (called Play and Learn) cover letters (uppercase and lowercase), numbers, shapes, colors, words, writing, and keyboard. The printable section (Print and Practice) has printable worksheets that follow the same categories. Both the online and printable activities are available in English, Spanish, French, and German.
Literacy Center Education Network purposefully doesn't offer any bells and whistles in its activities; it maintains that kids' attention should be focused on learning letters and they shouldn't be distracted by superfluous stimuli. There is much merit to this argument, though Literacy Center may take it too far. Games clearly and faithfully address simple learning goals and offer real opportunities for kids from a variety of backgrounds (including ELL and language-delayed kids) to interact with letters, numbers, and a bit more. Printable sheets offer a nice tie to bring learning offline.
But games are almost too simple and allow only for limited exploration. Though some kids may find that the excitement of exploring letters and numbers is enough to keep them engaged, all kids would likely benefit from a gentle boost of fun that could be entirely integrated into the learning experience so as not to distract from the task at hand. Even audio instructions could help, as what kids are supposed to do in some games is pretty vague. It could also help if kids were automatically advanced to a more complex task as they complete each level, rather than having to click themselves through levels that often seem arbitrarily ordered.
Key Standards Supported
Print many upper- and lowercase letters.
Reading Foundational Skills
Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary or many of the most frequent sound for each consonant.
Recognize and name all upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet.