Starfall.com opened in September of 2002 as a free public service to teach children to read with phonics.
Category: preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, special education, homeschool, and English language development (ELD, ELL, ESL).
The students of my class loves that site, because it makes the learning something funny, interactive and they are the focus of the action. It is not only to sit and listen but to participate actively which increase pupils´attention and engagement.
On the other hand is a free resource and therefore they can practice at home. Moreover, the easy interface also fosters self-learning and independence attitudes.
The first section called ABC it is useful to identify the different letters of the alphabet, either capital and lower case letters. On the bottom they are also some early year songs in order to help them to remember the vowels.
On the left corner there is one interactive exercise which shows the letters with signing language.
The second section “Learn to read” you begin to read the words with phonics. The student learns how distinguish the different sounds of the alphabet.
During the first exercises the students will work with CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words and afterwards they will see how it gets more difficult with CVCV, CVVC and CVCC.
After completing the exercises showed in the picture 4, the students can practice reading skills with some short stories which use the words studied previously and high frequency words. All the stories are supported with pictures and short interactive animations.
On the right column there are some exercises which fosters life skills such as recycling, days of the week, months, … while they are practicing reading.
One of the features that I also find interesting is that when the student doesn´t know how to read some word, they can click on it and see a box which spells the word slowly showing the sound of each letter.
The 3rd section “It’s fun to read” aims to encourage pupils to begin to read longer sentences through different short games. These topics are more cross curricular subject. For instance, we can find activities where they can design an avatar, short information about popular artists or musicians, introduction to poetry, some riddles and tongue twisters.
The last section of the reading platform is called “I’m reading”. It is for more advanced readers and the kids can begin to read short books with some repeated grammatical structures and words.