Abracadabra – called ABRA – is short for A Balanced Reading Approach for CAnadians Designed to Achieve Best Results for All.
Designed for students in the preschool to early elementary school age range, this website takes young readers on an adventure with a girl named Julie and her cat, Leo, when they discover a magic desk in a school closet. The program consists of a combination of games, stories, and activities for the kids online. They pick a style of writing, such as fiction, poetry, folktales, etc, and then choose an activity based on one of these categories:
- Sounds, Letters, and Words
- Understanding the Story
The games are fun, interactive, laid out in an easy-to-follow fashion, and include verbal instructions to explain how to play/complete the activity.
Here are some samples of the games you can play:
Check out this overview of ABRACADABRA video for more information on the program.
In the parental section, you will find a tab labelled “What to watch for.” This area gives you both a chance to see what is expected for a child to know about reading and writing at the Kindergarten through Grade 2 ranges, and also what kinds of things to keep your eye on while they are learning – such as reversed letters, and swapping out words for their own version. I like that they have some ideas about how to work on these, if necessary.
There is also a teacher’s section that is full of handy resources – including printable worksheets, some lesson plans, explanations of different skills, lots of tips and suggestions, and more. You will find that there are two tabs that are locked in the teacher’s area – the assessment and communication zones. The reason for that is because this is actually a “lite” version of the program.
Fun. Educational. Interactive. Canadian. Free.