5 Effective Software Solutions for Elementary School Classrooms
As a 5th grade teacher, I want to share the programs I use daily to make my classroom incredibly self sufficient and to help my kids grow in all areas of their lives.
#1: Reflex Math
Reflexmath.com is a game-based math fluency program that helps students of all ability levels develop fluency with facts in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The program adapts to each student's level and includes a variety of games that unlock as the student grows and learns new facts. How do I use it in my classroom? Students are on Reflexmath every day for 15 minutes in between their small group instruction and partner work. Once they master their facts, I have them move to Tynker.
Tynker.com is a coding website that teaches students the fundamentals of coding. It is more interactive and self-paced than other coding programs. Tynker begins with experimenting with visual blocks, then progresses to text-based coding which results in designing games, building apps and making other unique projects. In my classroom, students work on Tynker 15 minutes each day to build their critical thinking, problem solving and creativity skills. I love this program because it is building the necessary skills for the next generation of workers, and it is super fun!
Quill.org provides writing and grammar activities for elementary, middle and high school kids. The amount of time I spend finding and printing grade-level material for my students related to improving basic English conventions is ridiculous. Quill has solved this problem! I assign tasks that students take 15 minutes each day to complete that focus on a specific writing skill. I can track their progress and have students retake a task if they do not show mastery.
#4: Front Row
FrontRowed.com creates leveled activities in math, ELA and social studies for students. I assign a specific standard and students will work on it while I am working with a small group. This program is organized and has great resources for students to use to get them ready for state testing.
Boulaybank.com is a financial literacy platform that allows teachers to actively manage their classroom while teaching financial literacy. BoulayBank gives students virtual checking, saving and credit accounts. Students can create a resume, upload a profile picture, pay bills and apply behavior based action items, like turning in work and arriving to school on time. As a teacher, this allows me to track student attendance and improve behavior. Giving students paychecks for classroom jobs has transformed my classroom into a self-sufficient economy, resulting in more time for me to focus on teaching! Students spend 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at the end of the day updating their BoulayBank accounts to reflect their classroom performance. Once a month, I hold a Reward Day where they can spend their savings on different items or experiences. The kids love it and it is teaching real world skills!
As an added bonus, all of these programs take less than 10 minutes to get up and running in your classroom!