Learning Outside the Box
We all want the best for our kids, and that means donning many hats – chauffeur, playmate, nurse, and often, teacher. With our public school system constantly facing the challenges of government funding cuts and class size growth, our hardworking teachers need outside resources more than ever, and parents need to step up to help our kids keep up with the demands of today’s curriculum. There are brick and mortar learning centers that we all know about – Oxford, Sylvan, and Mathnasium to name just a few – as well as private options. But let’s face it, money and time are not always on our side.
In this issue we have explored some home teaching tools that won’t break the bank or the odometer, and they all come teacher-recommended! Have a peek to see which are best suited to your family!
Grades 1-8 math games to help foster a love for math at home! Free membership and back end reporting for parents and teachers to see the real-time progress of their kids’ learning. The games are fully aligned with standard curriculum in Canada, USA, Australia, India, and UK.
Teach Your Monster To Read
Award-winning reading and phonics games full of adorable characters that will help kids of all ages learn to sound out tricky letter combos, recognize sounds and advance up to reading full sentences! The desktop version is 100% free and is adored by kids, parents and teachers from around the globe! If you choose to invest in the app, all proceeds to right back into the charity project that founded the program and help them to develop new, innovative methods of teaching our littles!
Phonics and reading games for early learners ranging from pre-k to grade 3, with emphasis on exploration, play and positive reinforcement. This program uses colourful games to engage young minds and was developed by the Starfall Education Foundation in September 2002, so it is a long-standing proven go-to resource for educators and families. It has also proven exponentially helpful for special education and English language development (ESL, ELD, ELL). Home membership is $35/year, which gets you the desktop and mobile versions all in one.
This site offers leveled readers from Kindergarten through grade 6, with downloadable books, worksheets, parent and teacher resources to help the kiddos along the way from total newbie to seasoned reader! There is an annual fee of about $100 USD that gets you literally thousands of titles and helpful instruction to boot!
Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. They tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. Their math missions guide learners from kindergarten to calculus using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps.
TED ED is TED’s youth and education initiative — aims to spark and celebrate the ideas of teachers and students around the world. … TED–Ed has grown from an idea worth spreading into an award-winning education platform that serves millions of teachers and students around the world every week.
For kids who learn in a visual and tactile, way Algebra Touch can help kids learn algebra by dragging variables and numbers to rearrange them. They can simplify expressions by tapping the screen and draw lines to delete identical terms. You can start with basic foundations and move up to higher levels of difficulty.
Ghotit Dyslexia Keyboard
Ghotit Dyslexia Keyboard is an on-screen keyboard to help kids with writing issues. The app offers a number of assistive technology tools for reading and writing, including text-to-speech, word prediction, spell-check and proofreading tools. Your child must have access to an iPad with iOS 10 installed to use this app. *courtesy of CommonSense Media
Kids can use Socratic to search for answers to homework questions in math, science and other subjects. Kids can take a photo of the question they’re working on with their device, or just type it in. The app searches the Internet for a solution. In many cases, the app will give an exact answer, along with all the steps and work. For more complicated questions, the app may deliver a basic web search or a list of curated expert or crowd-sourced answers. Kids with non-iOS devices can use Wolfram Alpha (as a Chrome tool or Android app) for similar homework support. *courtesy CommonSense Media