Tuesday, November 3, 2009

ABC Teach

If you ever wished you could find quality supplementary worksheets for your homeschool in one central location, then you need to become familiar with ABC Teach. Membership to http://www.abcteach.com/ opens up access to over 35, 000 of worksheets, games, puzzles and other printable educational resources. Divided by subjects, themes, and age groups teachers can search through the seemingly endless options available by category or through use of the site’s search engine. Membership is available on a yearly basis for $40.00 per user per year or two years for $70.00. Groups of 10-29 can purchase a yearly membership for $35.00 per user per year and larger groups of 30 or more for only $25.00 per user per year.
Serving teachers of students in Pre-K through grade 8, ABC Teach is an amazing educational resource that offers:

*Broad range of subjects and levels.

*New materials added weekly to reflect current events and seasonal topics.

*An extensive educational clip art collection that will add color to your classroom.

*No advertising on the member site.

*Customer service representatives who are always available to address your concerns and requests.

I received a trial membership from ABC Teach in order to review the website for the TOS Review Crew. I was overwhelmed at first due to the vastness of the site. My mind does not naturally think in worksheets and therefore many times I don’t realize the benefits of supplementary paper work in the homeschool unless I see it first. I felt frustrated with the amount of time I used as I first searched through topics and subjects trying to take in all the site had to offer. Time is a precious commodity for me since I am teaching four students spanning grades K-10 this school year. I loved all the worksheets and other items I stumbled across, but when I tried using the search engine I could never seem to generate exactly what I was looking for.

My first goal in making use of ABC Teach products was to find resources to help my 5 year old learn to count to 100. I chose various search phrases including “100 day activities” and “counting to 100”, but found very little. I was surprised since most schools and educators spend a good deal of time teaching children counting skills.

I did find, however some terrific counters called Number Beads. The number beads are pre-programmed colorful circles which I printed out on cardstock just moments after locating them. Suggested activities accompanied the number beads representing numbers 0-50. I cut the circles out, punched holes in the top where indicated and gave them to Aidan along with a pipe cleaner to string them on in order. He loved the activity and even spent time organizing the number beads on the floor before adding them to his pipe cleaner. This simple math activity has brought a multitude of counting lessons to our house over the past few weeks helping Aidan and I accomplish his goal of learning to count. A plus for me came in finding and prepping the activity; all done from my home computer in just moments.

As I searched for other topics I joyfully discovered ABC Teach offerings for foreign language study. Our family spends a good deal of time with foreign language education. This year, for example, my kids are learning Latin, Italian and French. Finding quality curriculum is hard enough in the area of foreign language education, but supplemental resources are even scarcer. ABC Teach has supplemental worksheets, matching vocabulary cards, games and puzzles that could be used with any foreign language curriculum for several languages other than English. For example, I found 65 pages of Italian language supplemental worksheets! Included in the mix were pages which could be used to create an ABC book of Italian vocabulary. Very cool!

Another wonderful opportunity for members only is access to ABC TEACH custom worksheet generators. The mini programs allow teachers to create ABC Sort, handwriting practice, shapebook and border paper, word wall segments, scrambled word, crossword puzzles, desk tag templates, math, bingo, sudoku, word shape puzzles, spelling lists, missing letter and circle and spell worksheet activities. Short tutorials are available on the site to ease the learning curve in using the program, but the results are seemingly endless in possibilities especially for teachers with a creative bent. Samples of the custom worksheet generator are available for non-members at the ABC TEACH website.

ABC Teach offers a monthly newsletter filled with alerts to seasonal and new offerings on the website. The most recent newsletter listed 53 FREE links to supplemental resources along with helpful tips on how to use them with my students. In addition quick links to additional web resources and other helpful information regarding ABC TEACH were accessible directly from my email newsletter. I thought it exciting to have so many resources organized for me in one helpful newsletter.

Although anyone can access the company’s nearly 10,000 free resources I found the truly unique maps, foreign language study and of course access to worksheet generators were only available to members. Resources will mostly benefit teachers of students in pre-school through middle school; however some resources like foreign language study, make great teaching aids even for high school. Considering all ABC TEACH offers its members for $40.00 a year I think it is definitely worth the investment.

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