Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Assisted Reading with Brainzy!

A few mornings ago, I spent time in Helen's classroom. She showed me she starts her day by finding any place in the classroom she likes (she prefers the floor by the front door, which gives her access to all the comings and goings of the room, and is more comfortable than her desk chair). She then opens up one of her "just right books" that have been assembled for her in a cardboard box and starts reading.

She proudly read two of her books to me and was ready to read a third, but by that time, the classroom teacher was ready for me to take on the day's photocopying and pencil sharpening. As I was listening to Helen read, I noticed that she's getting pretty good - though she is nowhere close to being able to read her favorite books yet.

Enter Brainzy. Brainzy is an online site full of games designed to enhance reading and math skills for children ages 3 - 7. Although Helen is at the top of the age range, there's plenty for her to do on the reading side, since this year is her first introduction to reading. Helen has been testing out the various games for me and gives them a big thumbs up!

Helen loves the games for two reasons. First, there are sequenced levels that she enjoys playing through. The games are interesting to her, and definitely require her to think about various aspects of reading - initial sounds, rhyming words, and ending sounds. Second, she is very much aware that Connor has iPad time allocated to him each day, and she very much desires some time of her own. Using Brainzy makes me feel a little less guilty about sitting her in front of a screen, since she does need to practice her reading.

In addition, there are many read along stories which Helen has enjoyed listening to.

Brainzy is a subscription service that would make a nice holiday gift for young children in your life. With over 300 math and reading activities, there's bound to be something the child in your life will like - plus, it doesn't add to the pile of toys and clutter that live in most homes with children!

There are subscriptions for both students in teachers. More details can be found here: Helen uses Brainzy on her iPad, but she's also tested it out on my laptop. Some of the games seems to work a little better on the laptop, just because Helen can move the mouse around a little easier.

Happy holidays!

Disclosure: Helen has been testing out a copy of Brainzy that I was gifted. Thank you,!

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