In this article, I’m going to look at two great web sites, which help children learn literacy skills…and neither of them are Starfall.com. (However, for the very very few of you who haven’t heard of Starfall, check it out – it’s great!)
Literactive.com is a web site that helps children learn almost every early literacy strategy they need at infant level. It contains a complete phonics programme, dozens of nursery rhymes, fairy tales and poems and hundreds of activities to support literacy skills such as reading, spelling and writing. Although it was developed in America, almost all of its content is relevant to the Irish curriculum. With so much in it, I told the participants that they could easily stick this on their IWB in their infant classroom and retire! In order to use Literactive, one has to register an account with the site but after that it is free to use. In fact, lots of the site is available to download if you work in an area with dismal broadband.
The second web site that I showed was the TES iBoard. The story behind the iBoard begins with an ex-teacher by the name of Ian Rawlins who designed a full Key Stage 1 curriculum for any Interactive Whiteboard. In November 2009, it was acquired by the people behind the TES newspaper, (an English Teacher newspaper) and is now free for anyone to use. Basically, the TES iBoard gives access to anyone who wants free Interactive Whiteboard content for every subject in the UK curriculum. Like the Literactive stuff, most of it is applicable to the Irish curriculum.
In this article, I’m going to show a complete early phonics programme, similar to Jolly Phonics, but free. I’m also going to go through a number of activities that could be used for literacy using the theme of a nursery rhyme.
So let’s get going! I’m going to start off with the Literactive web site, which can be found on http://www.literactive.com. As I mentioned before, you need to register an account with this web site before you get going. This is easily done. Simply click on the register button (or any of the links on the front page) and you’ll meet the registration page.
Fill out the details and click on the register button and you’ll be sent your password to your email account. The first thing I’m going to look at is the “Road to Reading” section. Once you click, a new window pops up as the course loads up.
Although incomplete at time of writing this, there’s more than enough to keep a Junior Infant teacher busy for the whole year. The screencast below should give you a feel of what to expect from some of the activities.
Literactive is also brilliant for nursery rhymes. Below is a screencast of their take on Humpty Dumpty.
Whilst on the subject of Humpty Dumpty, I’m going to skip over to the TES iBoard, which also has a huge variety of nursery rhymes and activities. There’s no need to register to use the iBoard so you can start by typing http://tes.iboard.co.uk into your Internet browser and begin. The screencast below will show you a few activities relating to Humpty Dumpty for literacy. I’ve also chosen to integrate the subject of music too so you can have a look at what I’ve done there.
As you can see from both the sites above, there are loads of other activities that can be done with an infant classroom for literacy. In the next article, I’ll be moving on to using the Interactive Whiteboard for spellings, grammar and fairy tales. I’ll be sticking with the TES iBoard for these topics so have a play around and we’ll see you there!
Last Update: August 9, 2017