Educators across the country are currently preparing for the start of a new school year. With the chaos of the past year and a half of pandemic education, these educators are understandably wary of what this school year has in store. According to Edweek.org, teachers list the loss of math and social-emotional learning (or SEL) skills to be among their top concerns.
Here are a few educational apps to teach your students math, SEL skills, and more!
Educators have a responsibility not only to prepare students for the real world with academic rigor, but also to prepare them by equipping students with social and emotional skills. It’s vital that students learn methods to cope with their emotions, resolve conflict, and persevere through adversity.
For many teachers, the social isolation and virtual learning over the last school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic have shifted emphasis away from SEL. Limited in-person interactions with students have taken away opportunities for teaching social cues, teamwork, and emotional intelligence. But educational apps for students can help them engage with SEL whether class is remote or in-person this school year. Here are a few education apps you can use to teach your students social and emotional skills.
GoNoodle offers games and video lessons to engage children in activities designed to foster healthy development and improve SEL skills. They have educational content on academic subjects from Math to English, as well as games and activities to teach kids skills like emotional regulation, meditation, and coordination. You can find activities, games, and lessons on their website and on their apps.
Smiling Mind is a nonprofit devoted to bringing mindfulness education to students. Their free app has free meditations made for kids, as well as tracking functions to encourage students to build a habit of meditation. Meditation is a great way to encourage SEL because it fosters emotional well-being and helps students learn positive coping mechanisms. You can learn more about Smiling Mind and their app on their website.
You can use our Unruly Splats to play a number of different educational games with your students, many of which encourage social and emotional skills like teamwork. But for a selection of games specifically designed for SEL, check out our Social-Emotional Learning Lesson Plan. Students can work together virtually or in-person, and the games are easily modifiable depending on your class size.
A report from late 2020 showed that students are indeed scoring lower than predicted in math, as compared to student scores from the previous year. Math skills are important to the academic development of our future scientists and engineers; math education also encourages resilience and problem-solving. To keep students from falling further behind academic benchmarks, educators are finding new, creative solutions to make learning math virtually a more student-friendly process. And that’s where these educational apps come in!
SplashLearn is home to a myriad of fun games that support student learning in subjects like Math and English. They offer math games for students K-5, and their games are tailored to meet common core standards while still being fun! SplashLearn is a great way to let your students naturally reinforce the math skills they’re learning in class without feeling like they’re doing homework. Students can play games on their free app. Check out their website to learn more.
Chances are, you’ve already heard of Khan Academy, the well-known educational nonprofit that works to offer free virtual education to students across the globe. Because they’re so well-established, Khan Academy has lessons and quizzes on virtually every math concept imaginable, from addition and subtraction to college calculus. Khan Academy is a great way for students to supplement their lessons with specific attention on whichever concepts they struggle with. Available on the Khan Academy website and via app.
Unruly Splats offer a number of math games to teach math concepts while also getting kids physically active. This combination is extra important this year, with students getting less physical activity and scoring lower than expected on math assessments. Splathematics! games can be played virtually or in-person and teach a variety of math concepts like addition, word problems, and place value. You can learn more about Splathematics! on our website.
Of course, we can’t forget computer science— a subject that apps are particularly well-suited to teach children! Careers in STEM are growing by the year and the majority of that growth is happening in the computer science sector. So how do we teach students the basics of computer science, especially when coding is intimidating to many adults? With games, of course!
Code.org offers free coding courses and games in varying difficulties, for young children to adults. As a nonprofit, they want to improve access to computer science education; in fact, according to their website, the majority of their users are female and/or people of color. They offer tutorials and games designed to improve coding skills, including lessons for complete beginners, making this a great option even if your students have no education in computer science.
CodeMonkey is a program that teaches coding to kids through fun, interactive games. Their games come with reference materials for parents and teachers so you can guide your students through the games even if your own coding knowledge is limited. With courses and lessons for many grade levels and coding challenges to engage kids in friendly competition, there’s something for everyone. You can learn more about their courses and sign up for a free trial on their website.
That’s right— we have coding games, too! In fact, most of our games, including the SEL activities and math games, have a coding component to them. We suggest you check out some of the new updates to our learning portal. You can now filter your search for activities by computer science grade level, age, or class size. We also now offer access to a library of community-created games that you can explore and test out with your own students. Finally, we’ve introduced a few updates on the administrative end that make it easier for teachers to control class games and allow students to personalize their game profile!
With these educational apps, your students can have fun while they catch up on vital skills they may have missed out on during the peak of virtual education. Don’t forget to check out our lesson plans to see all the ways you can configure Unruly Splats to gamify your curriculum!