Free Distance Learning Websites - Featured Website of the Month (April)
These are strange and uncertain times, for sure. But, we are also blessed to live in an age where we have a wealth of online resources available to help us navigate the waters of distance education and homeschooling. Schools are quickly adapting and many already have programs in place for parents to use at home. However, some schools are still putting together a plan or have completely handed the reins over to the teachers.
I’m hoping that this blog post will be helpful for both teachers and parents. This post will give TEACHERS a good starting point to find distance learning websites they can use with their students. There are many great resources available! I also hope that this blog post will be a helpful for PARENTS as I share links to some great websites you can use to help your children get extra practice in subjects like math and reading.
Ok, for the teachers, first let’s look at Google Classroom. Many schools already have this in place, so you might want to inquire of your administration to see if your school has an account already. This website/app is great for handing in work in a paperless way. Students see what assignments their teachers have given and can work on them from home. Everything is automatically synced and saved into Google Drive. The teacher can see the status of each assignment and give feedback as the children are working on their assignments. This program is ideal for upper elementary or older students. Lower elementary students may need more parental help to navigate this system.
Boom Learning™ is another great resource and they are giving free accounts to many schools impacted by COVID-19. Boom Learning involves something called Boom Cards™. These are “self-grading exercises that are gamified for students and provide the data teachers want.” Here is a free Boom Cards deck I made that also includes a getting started tutorial for setting up your classroom. There are also video tutorials on the website you can use to set up your classroom. There are also many videos on YouTube to help set up an account. Once you have an account set up, you create a classroom and assign your students practice tasks to do on the website. You can create your own activities or choose from already created activities. There are paid and free resources available to choose from. Many of the activities are games, so the students will be engaged. But these activities will also provide teachers with feedback on how well students are grasping certain concepts. I love using Boom Cards because they give students immediate feedback and the teacher can quickly see how students are doing.
Now for parents, let’s talk about some great websites you might want to use with your kids at home to help with their learning.
1. MysteryScience has great resources that are aligned with the government curriculum. This website has videos and activities for students to complete. There are also step by step instructions for how to do all the activities. I have a lot of teacher friends who use this website and they love how “user friendly” it is.
2. Soft Schools is a great resource for generating worksheets for your kids. Maybe your child’s teacher has instructed you to practice math facts with your kid, but you don’t have very many resources at home. There is a simple way to generate worksheets for your kids to practice through this website. They can practice many different skills, such as math, spelling, phonics and printing practice.
3. Starfall is a great resource to use for teaching phonics and reading skills to younger kids. There is even an app you can download for them to get extra practice.
I’m praying for everyone through this uncertain time. I know that many are anxious and unsure about what the next weeks will look like. I hope this blog post offers at least a starting point for creating a foundation for you.
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