Here’s Why Kids Should Participate in Extracurricular Activities
Most parents ignore this, but playtime activities significantly contribute to a child’s overall development. The key to raising children successfully is acknowledging that learning doesn’t take place only within the classroom environment. Similarly, academics aren’t the only key to success in the future. That said, below are a few reasons your child should actively participate in extracurricular activities:
Understanding how to use the internet has become a cornerstone issue for students. No longer do they complete their research on projects solely in the library. Now, there is a varied landscape of resources available on the internet.
But with wealth of options comes responsibility to use resources properly. As soon as children begin to visit the online world, they need the knowledge to do that safely, securely, responsibly. There are several great programs available to guide students through this process (Common Sense’s Digital Passport, Carnegie CyberAcademy, K-8 Digital Citizenship). I’ve collected a long list of resources here:
Today, we focus on Kindergarten–1st Grade.
Students learn how to live in the digital world of internet websites, copy-righted images, and virtual friends who may be something different.
- What is a ‘digital citizen’?
- How is being a citizen of the internet the same/different than my home town?
- What are the implications of digital citizenship in today’s world?
Objectives and Steps
The objectives of this lesson are (use the lines in front of each item to check them off as completed):
Here are popular resources teachers are using to share stories:
- Aesop Fables—no ads
- Aesop’s Fables
- Audio stories
- Childhood Stories
- Classic Fairy Tales
- Fairy Tales and Fables
- Listen/read–Free non-fic audio books
- Owl Eyes (classics)
- Stories read by actors
- Stories to read for youngsters
- Unite for Literacy
Click for more online story resources (or to update this list)
Here’s the list of Kindergarten websites I use most often during the school year. Notice that many of the headings are links to more websites under that theme:
Learning computers starts in kindergarten with understanding hardware. This lesson plan (#103 in the lesson plan book noted below) includes three pages. Introduce less with K, more each year until by sixth grade, students are good hardware problem solvers because they understand the basics.
Page 2 is an assessment you can either print out and have students fill in or push out to students to be completed online.
Here is a great list of coloring book websites for kids and adults to share for the holidays. Many are color-by-number, some even auto-fill the right color with a long-click. Beware though: Many have in-app purchases and advertising so preview them before sharing:
- ABC Color–color letters with fill or paint brush
- ABCYa Paint
- Art Coloring
- Canva Templates to color
- Coloring book pages–downloadable
- Coloring Book–color by number
- Color Planet–app
- Free coloring pages
- Happy Color
- KidPix–visit coloring book backgrounds
- No-pix–color by number
- Paint by Number–app
- Paint Sparkles Draw–free; lots of coloring pages, but maybe too many ads
- Pixel Art
- Tap Color Pro
Click here for a great summary of several of these sites.
–image credit Deposit Photos
Thank you so much to Norah Colvin for inviting me as a guest on her wonderful education blog, Norah Colvin. Norah covers so many great topics, I’ve been a long-time subscriber, always coming away a little smarter and up-to-date on teaching our youngest learners. A topic dear to me–and one I get lots of questions about–is teaching Kindergartners to Tech. I’m reposting this article for my readers.
Teachers: I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments.
When I started teaching technology almost twenty years ago, I taught K-8, three classes in each grade every week. I was buried under lesson plans, grades, and parent meetings. I remember suggesting to my principal that he ease my schedule by eliminating tech for kindergartners. They wouldn’t miss anything if I started them in first or second grade would they?
And back then, that was true. Even a decade ago, technology was an extra class in student schedules where now, it is a life skill. Today, my teacher colleagues tell me kids arrive at school already comfortable in the use of iPads and smartphones, doing movements like swipe, squeeze, and flick better than most adults. Many teachers, even administrators, use that as the reason why technology training isn’t needed for them, arguing, “They’re digital natives.”
In fact, because they arrive at school thinking they know what they’re doing on a digital device is exactly why teaching them technology, starting in kindergarten, is critical.
I see a few of you shaking your heads. Does your school think kindergartners don’t need tech classes? Or, if you’re a remote learning school, do your youngers struggle with tech because they didn’t start to learn it early enough (like Kindergarten)? Let me give you four good reasons why Kindergartners need tech lessons–whether you teach remotely or in person. These will arm you the next time you have to defend a strategy you know works.
They arrive with bad habits
Parents love encouraging their kids to play with iPads and iPhones but it’s not their job to teach them how to do it right. And I’m fine with that. I’ll do it but I need to warn everyone: Bad tech habits are much (much) easier to break if I catch them in kindergarten than third grade. Here are a few that these digital natives arrive to my kindergarten classes with:
Here’s a great list of age-appropriate, safe websites that will inspire kindergarten-age children whether they’re in your classroom or at home (check here for updated links):
- ‘I love you’ in languages Afrikaans to Zulu
- Counting Money–a collection of visual money websites for kindergartners
- Edugames—drag-and-drop puzzles; great for mouse skills
- Internet4Classrooms–-popular Kindergarten links
- KinderSite—lots of kindergarten websites
- Mr. Picasso Head–draw a Picasso potato head
- Shapes and colors
- The Learning Planet–worksheets and games; free
- ZooWhiz--collection of math, reading word skills and literacy games/learning with a zoo theme–requires registration (free and then fee)