I met a teacher and football coach at a conference a few Summers ago who didn't like the phrase "practice makes perfect." Instead, he argued that "practice makes permanent." I think about this a lot when we look at subscription services to help students independently practice. These services are generally self guided by the student. It is primarily used to enhance the learning that is happening at school, so it is very important that the services meet student need in a "just right" way.
Oakwood and Harvey Swanson have chosen a few subscription services to help foster independent practice. Study Island is a web based service that uses NWEA MAP scores to target a student's areas of need. iXL is an independent math facts and concepts practice that offers quick activities with feedback if questions are answered incorrectly. RazKids is an electronic library of books for students that includes quizzes.
I'd like to highlight RazKids as a tool, because all of our students will be using it. It allows teachers to customize book levels, assign specific assignments, and even assess students reading using some neat tools. RazKids is a web and app based service that is accessible from nearly any device. What teachers like about it is how it awards students for reading books and focuses on some general skills that help all students during quizzes. Students really like RazKids because it makes books accessible. There is usually an eyeball and ear button next to every book on the virtual shelf. The eyeball lets students read the book, and the ear lets students hear the book as it highlights the words. This can be really helpful for students struggling to understand or for students with different learning styles.
Ask your child to tell you about RazKids tonight! You can log in on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Instructional Technology Coach