Teacher Picks: Our Reviewer Tests Knowledge Adventure’s Activity Builder
Description: The Activity Builder is an online product that allows teachers to customize activities for various subjects. Teachers can create worksheets, games, letter cards, flash cards, puzzles, sentence strips, word wall cards, homework assignments, and tests.
Pros: I love the idea that the teacher can customize the work and the site is very easy to navigate. The home page is uncluttered and laid out in an easy to understand style. The left side of the screen lists FAQs, Instructions, Manuals, and Contacts. Under Manuals are sample activities to give you an idea of what the product can do. This is a really helpful feature for the first-time user. The right side of the screen consists of buttons to take you to activity builders for Letters, Numbers, Pictures, and Words. There are also buttons that take you to your Saved Lists and Black Line Masters.
I looked at Pictures (which include math activities), Numbers, Words, and Masters. Masters had pre-made, non-customizable activities that touched on various math subjects as bar graphs and base 10. Under Pictures you could create an activity for lessons in shapes, clock, money, etc. Selecting fractions in the Pictures section, I created flash cards and a cube for the students to make representing ½, 1/3, ¼. The Words category lets you select Words students need to know in each subject. What’s great about this category (and the picture category) is that there’s a district link included. At the moment, there’s only CA and PA listed. Within each state, there are links to grade levels. This would be an amazing tool for teachers when all states are listed. In the numbers category, a large number of activities can be created using 8 different math operations. For subtraction, I created an old maid game, a write 3X each sheet, and a test.
Cons: As mentioned above, this product would be much more useful if it listed every state’s requirements (at least NJ’s!). Also, using fractions as an example, I wasn’t able to create activities for anything besides ½, 1/3, ¼. (Although I was able to create a huge number of activities for those three fractions.) But perhaps this has to do with the grade levels targeted.
How would you use this in the classroom? This is an extremely useful product. I would use it for in class exercises, homework, to create flash cards, to create activities that students would enjoy, and to create tests. It would also be good for enrichment. Whenever students have free time, they could do a word search or a puzzle and reinforce whatever is being taught in the classroom.