It was past bedtime, but a morning snow delay ensured some extra sleeping in time, if needed. While my daughter was already asleep, battling a fever virus all weekend, my son, Alex, was still awake but had just finally agreed to brush his teeth. As he walked past my computer, he stopped to see what I was doing.
On the screen, there were animations that looked a little like the Pokemon characters. It was a math game called Prodigy I had just learned about and was trying out for my third graders. Alex is a second grader but actually the same age as some of my students. With a late fall birthday, we gave him the gift of starting kindergarten at five (turning six) instead of four and so he's a smidge older for the grade. He's also especially good at math and loves all things screens.
He asked if he could try, so I turned my little animated Kathleen over to him. The program was super engaging to him- unlocking levels, designing and naming your character and a pet, battling monsters. All the while solving math problems. I could see how this game would be really fun and motivating for my students.Alex solved many tricky problems in his head (while I was using pen and paper to subtract), which was so impressive to me.
will introduce Prodigy to my students today. Meanwhile, I made Alex his own account through my class so he could continue practicing his math skills with this fun and engaging game.
It's really interesting when your children become the age of the children you teach. For many years (10), I taught kindergarten and my daughter is in kindergarten now. Alex will be a third grader next year but already I can see that he is interested in what my students are doing and special opportunities I create for them, like blogging. It's fun to see how he reacts to trying out what my students will do. Wearing two hats, mom and teacher, it's enlightening to see how decisions a teacher makes can inspire or deflate a student's interests. As a parent, it's the best to see the spark of learning alive in your child and know that flame is being fanned by all the educators in his life.
Before I leave for work, I'll show Alex his new username and password for Prodigy. I can't wait for him to tell me all about it.
Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski