Product Review: WonderGrove Learn
What Is It?
WonderGrove Learn has online videos aligned with the Common Core State Standards for grades PreK-2nd grade. It uses engaging animated characters to teach specific skills to students. The animated videos are each about 3 minutes which is perfect to get the students attention and deliver a message. The Social Skills subscription gives you several categories of videos that can be used in the classroom: Back to School, School Readiness, Social Emotional Learning, Life Skills, Health and Science, Safety, Nutrition, and Fitness. There is a separate subscription for Habits of Mind that has 16 video such as managing impulsivity, thinking flexibly, and thinking about your thinking. Many of the videos also have plans and extension activities that can be used to make a complete lesson.
WonderGrove Learn is designed for Pre-K to 2nd Grade students. The lessons and extension activities are aligned to Federal Common Core Standards. The 5 animated characters, Peter, Dee, Maria, Marcus, and Chris are age appropriate for young students. They are interesting enough for the students to enjoy them talking about school issues. Some of the characters do have younger sounding voices but this has not seemed to impact my student’s ability to relate to them. It would also be appropriate for older students with special needs that would relate to animated characters. I have found that special needs students as old as 5th graders enjoy watching the videos. They are also short enough to be used frequently to teach and reteach social skills that some students may be struggling with.
Ease of Use
Subscription gives you access to both the animated videos and extension lessons. All the videos can be streamed through the website browser which makes it very easy to use across media types. You can use a projector to play for the whole class or individual iPads for groups or individual students. See technology requirements here.
The subscription comes with printable activities to go with most of the lessons. This is a sample of a few: printable books (photo), active learning (photo), and coloring sheets (photo). The program also has a variety of cross curricular alignment to academic subjects such as English, math, and reading. The online access makes it each to print only the activities that you use.
There are also videos on YouTube that you can access for free. We have an easy to follow playlist on our YouTube Channel to see a variety of WonderGrove lessons. You can also subscribe to the WonderGrove YouTube channel here.
The WonderGrove Social Skills Animations is a yearly subscription that costs $98.00. There are 5 different versions of the Social Skills Curriculum: English (Photo), Spanish, Arabic, Sign Savy, and Symbol Stix. Each subscription is separate. There is also the Habits of Mind Animations that costs $90.00 for the online or $200 for the DVD and notebook (photo). There is only the option of a yearly plan so you would need to review each year. Here’s a snapshot of the buying options:
How to use this program
I have used this program for the past 3 years in my Kindergarten to 2nd grade classrooms. I use this as a part of the social emotional units that we are doing. I currently use this program as a supplemental to the Second Step® program to help reinforce skills. I have created a suggested video guide that aligns with Early Childhood-2nd Grade Second Step® lessons.
I also have a great one-page planner to decide which of the extension activities to use for each video. This planner is helpful for anyone who wants to organize the video and extension activities into a full lesson.
Honestly, some extension activities are better than others. The printable books seem to be one of the favorite activities for my students. I like that the books are differentiated for each of the grades PreK/K to 2nd Grade. This makes it super easy if I have multiple abilities in my groups or classes. I can choose which level works for each student, and they don’t notice that they may have different words printed. They also like to take the books home to read to their parents. Another way my school has used this program is to support our PBIS implementation. Teachers use this program during transitions or when issues arise in the classroom to give a quick 10-minute mini-lesson to practice school skills. A great example is after extended breaks when classroom expectations such as raising your hand or standing in line quietly need to be retaught. The teachers love the simplicity of the animations and the students like to hear from other voices about how to follow the rules.
WonderGrove Learn is an online Social Skills program that is aligned with the Common Core State Standards. It is meant to be used by any classroom teacher in grades PreK-2nd Grade. The animated characters are engaging and provide short lessons of much needed social skills. The online platform is easy to use and you only need to print the activities you want to use. The yearly subscription is reasonable priced, but after several years can add up. Overall, this program is easy to use for any classroom teacher to teach and reinforce social skills needed in any class.
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