Turtle Diary (yes, that’s its name) is a huge site with an enormous range of games in math, reading, and science. Teachers and parents can register for free to access the vast and diverse number of games (K-5), videos, online books, puzzles, experiments, and worksheets for grades K-3. All videos and recorded books are read in fluent English. The lessons which seem best suited for English language learners are read a bit slowly, to my ear, but are probably helpful for learning the language. Users are encouraged to sign up for yearly membership in order to access all materials, but I have not yet come across any game, worksheet, or activity to which I was denied access with my free membership. Membership also allows users to track student activity and responses on games. The primary advantage of membership would be the removal of ads running on every page. I don’t know if that increases the size of the games and books, because I am using the site for free. You can see below how much of the page is NOT devoted to the actual materials. And yes, turtles really are swimming continuously along the sides of the page.
Aside from the excellent games, the descriptions of activities are quite entertaining. The writers aren’t native English speakers, for sure. Here are a few of my favorites: “As each lesson bears a sense of newness, kids never get bored out of it.” “The simple approach suits a child’s tender mind.” “There is science behind everything. The popular saying proves the importance of the subject.” And my favorite: “Each one is fun to play, and is great at keeping fifth graders entertained and engaged. They are the perfect complement to the seemingly endless classes and lessons they have to sit through.” (No joke there!)
If you want some really good games, check out this site. Just remember that each page is loaded with distractions. At least I didn’t see any Victoria’s Secret ads swimming by!