How I Use It
I use ABCMouse with Pre-K-Kindergarten students to help support their reading and math. The website provides additional resources for reading, writing, and math skills & concepts. Students experience a variety of activities in each of these subject areas through the use of digital books, songs, puzzles, art, & interactive games.
The initial set-up for each class is self explanatory and easy to follow. ABCMouse enables educators to create individual classes for free, in which those can be linked together on one homepage. I utilized an organizational resource, like Symbaloo, which allowed students to go directly to ABCMouse.com with ease. Students are able to click on their classroom teacher followed by their name. This is helpful when aiding young students in accessing the website easily, along with their account.
The challenge I have experienced is students must click "change user" before exiting the website so other students do not play under their account. I have taught students to look for a particular icon (dog, cat, rabbit, etc.) which represents their class/teacher. I am continuously walking around to make sure students are accessing their account correctly; name is always displayed.
When students access ABCMouse, I have them start with the "Learning Path". I prefer this option because it requires students to follow a certain sequence. In addition, I have also created set lessons to reinforce specific skills & concepts they are learning in the classroom; these lessons can be found under "My Lessons" on the student account.
Another feature ABCMouse offers is parent accessibility. If students have an account through the school, parents may also request a code to access the account at home, which in turn is beneficial if students need additional support.
This website is very engaging for students. The graphics and variety of activities students are exposed to with the integration of math, reading, and writing are inviting and interactive.
The website is a resource to help support or further understanding of a specific skill or concept. In my opinion, it is not built to be used as a primary source for teaching reading, writing, or math. As it it can be utilized as practice, the website only requires students to click on whatever skill they are practicing. Some of the activities may promote a deeper understanding, but I would say the majority are very basic and promotes repetition and practice of these skills.
As for support, it is definitely geared towards younger students (Pre-K-1st) or students who need that extra academic support. The graphics and presentation of the website is interactive, but is designed to appeal to a younger audience.
Overall, I think the website is interactive, includes diverse educational activities, and easily engages students for a good amount of time. Not to mention, in provides additional reinforcement for reading, writing, and math skills which are the building blocks for a strong foundation to these subject areas. I believe it is one of the better and most useful free educational websites available to educators and students.