I’m not sure if I’ve just really missed the boat for awhile, or if Starfall has recently added a bunch of new things, but I just discovered two whole sections of this site that I hadn’t seen before. For those of you who are not familiar with Starfall, it is my top pick for First Grade in terms of reading websites! I love this site, and I’ve watched it grow over the past four years….it was my favorite back when I was still in the classroom.
But today I noticed they have really expanded around their initial curriculum, and now offer many activities geared towards Kindergartners and Second Graders (and possibly Third Graders, with their stories about Greek Myths). They’ve even thrown in some Art and Music areas! If you haven’t taken a look in awhile, like me, you might want to go check it out!
I know many people use Starfall as a “go and play” activity for students, or as a center (which works well since the site won’t let students stray elsewhere without opening another browser window), but I highly recommend considering being prescriptive about what you have your students do on the site. The activities can be geared towards a specific skill you are working on in class, including short vowels, long vowels, compound words, poetry, fiction/nonfiction, word shapes, diphthongs, and so on. You can ask students to complete a specific activity that goes along with your current unit, and THEN allow them to “play” with the other activities on the site.
And while you are deciding which activities to have your students complete, you will also want to check out the educators section of the site, and the download center (where you can find paper copies of the stories, letter sheets, puzzle activities, writing prompts based on story comprehension, and other printable versions of activities on the site)! Below is an image of just one of the download areas!