Parents, teachers, and sometimes the occasional student is looking for ways to practice what they learn in class in a fun and interactive environment using the tools they know best – computers, games, and internet. I for one am one of the students who enjoyed playing educational games. Growing up, in my mind, if a computer game was not going to enhance my reasoning skills or the core basics in math, typing, English, etc. they were not worth playing.
As an educator I do see the value in educational games. Perhaps one of the most frustrating things is when students who should know their basic additional and subtraction facts are struggling and are still counting on their fingers at grade 5 to add 2+5 and tell me that it equals 7. Of course, its not just math, sometimes it English, or spelling, or typing, or social studies, and the list can go on. I feel that as an educator I can do my part to set up sites and online avenues that students can access to practice and do homework at home. However, I also feel it is the parents job to be on board with their child’s education and encourage them to work hard. I am open to hearing from parents and answering homework questions. In fact, I would rather receive ten phone calls everyday after school from parent asking for clarification on a homework assignment over calling parents to let them know that their child is struggling in said subject area and that I would like their help to improve the child’s mark. As it is, I may very well have to make more phone calls home eliciting parent support for their child’s education.
I wonder what steps I could take right at the beginning of the year to do that? I wonder if it is possible to lay out my expectations of parents involvement in their child’s education or at the very least if they are unable, to let me know so I can make sure that child is getting the after school support that they need.
Tux4Kids has program downloads for math, typing, and a version of paint. There are also several others out there on the internet that if you search for them you will find them. I included a website that I am developing for my major ECMP project. This website is only a mock of something that I would do in a classroom with my students. This website is always growing and changing, keep checking back every couple weeks and you may find something new that could possibly be used in a classroom environment.