How I Use It
Currently, I use the website as a large group introduction of our weekly phonics skill on my Smartboard. I also use it for individual students whether they need to back up and review some letter sounds or need more instruction in previous phonics skills. My students also love to go to Starfall when they have free choice in the computer lab. The activities are very engaging and easily moved through independently. Occasionally they get sidetracked by the fun holiday activities which don't have as much direct phonics incorporated into them, but with careful monitoring to ensure they are working in the right areas it is a great tool for reinforcing current and past phonics skills. I also use it to enrich my higher level students who need a little push toward something more difficult. They can begin learning long vowels while the rest of the class focuses on short vowels. Overall it has been an excellent resource in my classroom for engaging students and helping them learn to read!
I have been using Starfall for years as a way to supplement my reading instruction. Students love the animation and interactive components to learning sounds. It is very multi-level and allowed me to meet the needs of diverse learners when I had a K-2 classroom. Kindergartners love the letter animations, first graders are able to read the simple stories that correspond to the weekly phonics skill, and second graders enjoyed the more difficult stories and also reviewing those phonics skills. I like that students are able to click on words they don't know in order to hear them read aloud. The website makes learning to read fun and easy! I was disappointed that the iPad version is not a free app but a series of separate apps that must be purchased.