We’ve all heard the phrase “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” but neither was anything else! That includes proficiency in any task or mastery of any skill, whether basic or advanced. It’s always one step at a time.
As we grow into adulthood, we sometimes take for granted all the big and little steps it takes to acquire math and language skills. Often it’s only when we begin to help our kids prepare for school and lifelong learning that we begin to consider the progression. We “get” the need for ABCs and 123s, but how—and where—do other skills fit in?
Anywhere Teacher, the digital learning program from School Zone, now has two guided, game-like learning paths (preschool and the just-released kindergarten) that help remove the guesswork. Designed by teachers and aligned to national standards, they deliver strategic learning in a secure, ad-free environment. The paths ensure that kids learn what they need to know, in the order they need to know it. As kids move on to higher levels, the skills get progressively harder, building on the skills learned in previous levels, and standards-based “I can” statements help kids and parents alike gauge learning. Parents will also love the new information and reporting features, and kids will love the fun!
On the kindergarten path, they will explore tree houses, ancient ruins, a tree frog village and a zip-line course as they collect treasure and expand their knowledge and skills. For working hard and achieving great things, they will earn a golden artifact to use in their Play Zone.
In an article titled, “Skills Kids Need Going into First Grade,” by Amanda Morin for the Understood website, under the subhead “Literacy Skills Kids Need for First Grade, she writes, “Literacy skills include both reading and writing. The two are taught together because they’re closely connected.” She adds that “In kindergarten, kids practice breaking words into small chunks and identifying the sounds each letters makes. (This is known as decoding.)”
She also gives examples of several early math activities, and one of them is this: “Count how many objects are in a group (one by one) and compare it to another group to figure out which is greater or less than the other.”
It’s activities like these that the Anywhere Teacher learning paths offer. The kindergarten path has more than 160 activities covering 120+ national standards, across 23 different levels. Positive reinforcement and rewards are earned at every level, keeping kids motivated and engaged. Once all 7 activities in a level are completed, a treasure is awarded, and they can move to the Play Zone for some creative fun using what they’ve won or “bought” with their gameplay tokens earned along the way.
When it comes to foundational skills, even teachers themselves sometimes grapple with meeting the needs of individual learners, who are in different places and move at different paces. The website We are Teachers, in a piece last year by Karen Nelson, titled, “50 Ideas, Tricks, and Tips for Teaching Kindergarten,” includes a post by Shannon T, telling teachers, “Don’t assume they know how to do anything. Teach them everything,” followed by some non-academic examples.
Another tip, “Prepare yourself for kids with a wide range of skills,” is followed by advice from Maggie V, who in part says, “Be ready for kid who are readers, kids who have never seen letters, and everything in between.”
Subscribing to Anywhere Teacher allows self-directed play across 2000+ activities, but putting kids on a learning path has advantages of both sequenced learning and supplemental tools. Pencil-and-paper practice can reinforce and supplement online learning and also develops fine motor skills in unique and important ways. As kids move along the learning path, at each level parents receive suggestions for School Zone print materials that complement where their child is on the path.
The playful feel of the paths get kids excited about mastering new skills and help build confident, independent, and successful learners. After finishing the paths, little learners are presented with a certificate of achievement, and parents are emailed a printable version to display proudly in their homes.
Anthony J. D’Angelo, who researches and writes about higher education, once said, “Develop a passion for learning, and if you do, you will never cease to grow.” Anywhere Teacher’s guided learning paths help establish that passion early. Why not let your child give it a try? For a limited time, go to anywhereteacher.com and use code 30DAYS to get the first month free.