Edit in 2019: This was posted waaay back in 2011 when poissonrouge was FREE. It’s not any more 🙁
It’s a challenge to integrate technology into a 5 year old student’s school day. First of all time and patience is needed to actually learn how to use the mouse/keyboard/trackpad. Which is why I’m a big proponent of using Ipods and Ipads in Early Years as they remove the obstacles of usability with their tactile and interactively easy interface for young children.
Lots of websites say they are for Early Years students but many fail at the simple things. And its frustrating for both the teacher and the student. BBC Early Years has some good activities but is more of a pick and play website for teachers to navigate. PbsKids.org try to mix it up a bit but there’s just too many buttons and options and the activity screens are waaaay too small.
The goal for me, always, is to find a website (or software) that a 4 and 5 year old student can navigate, explore and take control of their own learning with the minimal of instruction from the teacher.
PoissonRouge.Com does exactly that and to them I am grateful that there is a website out there that “gets” what a young child needs to experience with a website.
From the title page you can see that there are no words to comprehend, there are no advertisements to confuse and there are no distracting and misleading icons. This results in a explorative and exciting time for the young students.
Let’s take a look at some of the games (or activities, not everything is a game on PoissonRouge). To be honest I haven’t even gone through them all and I am surprised every time I see some new game from the website on a student’s screen.
A Take on Snakes And Ladders
I haven’t told any student in K1 and K2 how to play this and I was so happy to see students opening this up and realizing they had to click on the dice and move their ladybug the number of spaces rolled. Maths, critical thinking and logical reasoning at the click of a mouse.
Ten Green Bottles
If your students don’t know this song before they do this activity they will very very shortly. When students start this activity the song starts its first verse. And then stops. What to do, what to do?! Well click on a bottle, any bottle, and it will tumble to the floor. And the song continues! So simple but so engaging. The student becomes an active part of the song and that is very rewarding for the young learner.
As you can see with these activities there are no complicated “Click Here To Return Home” buttons and the students learn very quickly to click on the red fish to return back to the home page.
An activity for every letter of the alphabet? Sure, why not?!
If I wrote about everything on PoissonRouge I would be here a long time but to say I am very impressed with its total commitment to accommodating early years students would be an understatement.
Stay tuned for some students’ opinions on PoissonRouge coming soon!