Reading and writing — the crux of language arts learning — are essential skills used in every other school subject.
To help your child continue acquiring language arts knowledge that will enable her to excel, there are great resources both in and out of the classroom. The videos and games below offer a range of fun, educational learning activities.
EduPad offers apps specifically for handheld devices and mobile tablets. These educational apps, for grades 1–8, are specifically targeted by subject and grade level and are aligned with the Common Core standards. EduPad’s apps are incredibly diverse. They include a large database of practice exercises and lessons acrossa selection of topics in all language arts areas. EduPad is great for students who need extra practice to hone their skills as well as for more advanced students who want to venture beyond what they’re learning in the classroom.
Flocabulary is another site that offers a range of videos on different subjects for various grade levels. This site uses a subscription service, but you can watch a number of videos for free, or even sign up for a free trial. Videos cover basics like reading, writing, grammar, and research skills, as well as narrower topics, such as Shakespeare. The videos are animated and fun.
FunBrain is another great online educational resource for grades K–8. While some sites offer educational videos only, FunBrain’s library of options is composed of online versions of popular children’s books (such as “Diary of a Wimpy Kid," “Galactic Hot Dogs," and “Skullduggery Island"), and an array of fun interactive reading games (such as Stay Afloat, The Grammar Girls, and Rooting Out Words). FunBrain also hosts online Mad Libs and a section of comics to help teach reading and vocabulary.
Mr. Nussbaum is an educational site for both parents and teachers. While some of the site is static, with templates for classroom lessons, there is also a section with online education games that students can play for free. The games are simple, fun, and grade-appropriate. The large selection includes: Spellerz, Word Quake, The Curse of the Farm Fox, and Letter Quest. Games can be played on your computer, tablet, or phone.
This site is written and maintained by a sixth grade teacher who uses this selection of educational videos in her own classroom. While not as extensive a collection as can be found on other sites, the videos here are well-curated and age-appropriate. Mrs. Solomon knows her stuff. The videos cover specific topics such as root words, poetry, onomatopoeia, alliteration, and figurative language. The videos also draw on popular culture, including Batman and Robin as well as music from the Black Eyed Peas, to engage students as they learn.
WatchKnowLearn has a wealth of educational videos that is unsurpassed. Students and parents can begin by choosing a subject (the site offers far more than just language arts), then adjust the age range (materials are available for ages 3–18). Within each subject, there are specified topics, such as: Sounds in Words, Structure, Literature, Using a Book, and Reference Skills. The videos vary in style; some are fully animated; others are interviews with educators; and still others show students learning through various activities.