During the coronavirus pandemic, parents and caretakers of young people have encountered the new challenge of supporting remote learning. Many have a newfound appreciation for the dedication, talent, and skill that their child’s teacher brings to the classroom each day. It’s almost like learning to be a teacher in addition to all of their other responsibilities.
The University of Oregon has made available proven teaching tools to help with the transition.
Below are teaching resources, most of which are provided by the UO’s top-ranked College of Education in partnership with federal agencies. These are evidence-based learning tools developed in partnership with federal research universities. The university hopes they are useful for those now practicing schooling-at-home.
Math resources for preschoolers/kindergartners ($0.99 iPad app)
KinderTEK grew out of research funded by the U.S. Department of Education and conducted by the UO’s Center on Teaching & Learning. It is only available for iPads and helps students age 3-8 learn important preschool/kindergarten-level math skills and is available in the Apple App Store. It teaches math through thoughtful sequencing and research-based instructional practices. For more information, visit the KinderTEK website.
Math education gaming for students in kindergarten through second grade ($0.99 app)
NumberShire teaches kindergarten through 2nd grade students concepts that are critical for math proficiency. The program uses an engaging storyline set in a Renaissance-themed village with unique characters, narrative goals and visual rewards. NumberShire is focused on critical whole number concepts and aligned with Common Core State Standards. The home version of the NumberShire app for the iPad is now available for 99 cents in the Apple App Store. Parents can also access a web-based version of the classroom edition for free by contacting developers at firstname.lastname@example.org and requesting an account. For more information, visit the NumberShire website. NumberShire has its origins in research funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
Online science activities ESCOLAR, which stands for Effective Scholastic Curriculum for Online Learning and Academic Results, can help boost the science learning of middle school students – including those with learning disabilities.
ESCOLAR is different from other online science modules because it was created for a digital environment and it is aligned to Next Generation Science Standards. Units last 12-20 weeks and are divided into the areas of life sciences, physical sciences, earth and space sciences, and foundational skills. Developers will soon begin releasing ESCOLAR units in Spanish. Parents can easily access the units after setting up free accounts. Learn more on the ESCOLAR website. ESCOLAR was originally designed with a National Science Foundation grant.
Online research skills SOAR, short for Strategies for Online Academic Research, has been shown in research studies funded by the US Department of Education to help middle school students – including students with learning disabilities – learn how to search for, evaluate, and use appropriate online information. Parents can easily access the SOAR curriculum after setting up free accounts. Lessons show how to use search engines effectively, how to ask the right questions and choose the right search words; how to distinguish governmental, nonprofit and other noncommercial sites; and how to evaluate the reliability of the information they are finding. Learn more on the SOAR website.
Positive behavioral intervention for K-12 at home Parents can apply some of the principles of the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, a nationally-renowned program started at the University of Oregon and used throughout the country, to their own home learning environment with a newly released behavioral intervention app called Be+ that’s been available for free since September in the Google Play store and was just released in the Apple App Store. Parents can use the Be+ app to practice the kinds of positive reinforcement at home that have shown to be effective in classrooms as it has been used in more than 25,000 schools in 50 states and 20 countries to help improve student outcomes. For more information, visit the program's website. The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences is the university’s longtime partner in advancing this work.
Neuroscience resources for kids of all ages To help children learn about how their brains work, the UO has developed a collection of resources for parents and educators seeking neuroscience guides and lessons for kids. Intended as the basis for a neuroscience-for-kids website, the resources have been compiled in a Google spreadsheet that’s available to everyone.
More information about these tools can be found in this Around the O article.