Welcome to Little Sponges®!
Welcome to Little Sponges®! Get ready as we take you on a tour of our interactive bilingual curriculum designed specifically for children. You will see why so many teachers and parents love using the Little Sponges® program to help their students learn languages! Let’s begin!
Setting Up Your Account
When you join Little Sponges® you will receive a welcome email with your username and temporary password. You will want to change your generic password to something unique to yourself to ensure the safety of your account. To do this, follow the like presented in the welcome email.
Changing Your Temporary Password
Once on the log in page, enter your username or e-mail and click on the change password button. You will receive another e-mail that will allow you to reset the password to something unique.
Now that you changed your password, let’s log in. Enter your username or e-mail and new password.
As soon as you log in, you will see an interactive map that allows you and your students to navigate the Little Sponges® curriculum. Students can easily identify the adventures using visuals and numbers. You can also point to the number to see the name of each adventure and navigate to the adventure page by clicking on the button. The learning modules (or adventures) are numbered to show the recommended order based on the difficulty of the vocabulary and concepts that are taught in each module. Teachers and students can follow the recommended order or select any module based on their personal learning objectives. This curriculum flexibility enables personalized learning for each child.
Now let’s explore one of the learning modules, using the Forest Adventure (#9 on the map) as an example.
The Forest Adventure covers a variety of topics that children love to learn about. In this learning module, Mishka and Frog take students on an exciting adventure through a forest where they teach students how to name different birds, animals, and insects, sing songs, and name foods found growing within a forest environment.
Each adventure takes the students into a new learning experience to discover, practice, and develop language skills. The adventure page is designed to guide the learner from language exposure to practicing comprehension, speaking and reading skills.
Learning modules are broken up into four areas: adventure video, comprehension game, review video, and literacy game. Select modules also have an interactive alphabet to help younger children practice their early literacy skills.
In the Forest Adventure, Mishka and Forg take students through a fun, educational adventure through a forest! Through acting and storytelling, they get students excited about learning and break the language barrier. It’s not uncommon to hear students repeat words and phrases after the puppets as they watch the video. We recommend that teachers encourage all students to say the words out loud as it will help them remember new vocabulary faster and become more comfortable with speaking a new language.
Teachers may show the full adventure video to their students if time allows, but if you wish to review specific concepts or vocabulary quickly, chapters have been imbedded in the video’s timeline to allow easy access to key adventure topics. To access these chapters, simply move your curser over the indicated section to see what topic is covered. Click on the desired section to access the chapter.
Since each puppet speaks one language consistently, students are able to take in both languages without confusing them. Research shows that the strong association between the language and the speaker is very important for bilingual learners.
After being exposed to the new vocabulary several times in the adventure video students can practice their comprehension of the language with the formative interactive games.
The games are available in both languages. You will notice that the English icon is always green and the second language icon is always pink. This helps younger students who may not be reading yet navigate the program.
The objective of the game is for students to practice new vocabulary by selecting the correct picture that matches the spoken word. As the students choose the correct answer, the picture comes into the scene, accompanied by fun animations and sound effects to keep students excited and engaged. Students earn stars as they answer the questions right on the first try.
If the student struggles to answer correctly and picks the wrong answer twice, the correct answer is singled out and revealed. This feature enables students to continue learning while okaying the games.
If the child would like to hear the word again, they can click on the audio button at the top.
By answering the questions correctly, students create a new scene and activate various animations. At the end of the game, the scene is complete and Mishka and Frog congratulate students on a job well done. Students can see how many starts they earned at the end of the game as well.
On the end screen, students have the option to play the game again, or return to the adventure module page. Each student can learn at their own pace by playing the game as many times as necessary, to master all of the vocabulary. Teachers can determine the level of student’s proficiency, based on the number of stars they’ve earned.
After completing the game in one language, students can play the game in the other language or continue with the next learning activity.
The review video encourages students to take their languages skills to the next level by practicing speaking the language. In this video, Mishka and Frog ask students questions about vocabulary and concepts they’ve learned in the learning video and comprehension games.
Though the review video does not cover all vocabulary and concepts presented in the adventure video, children still love taking to Mishka and Frog as they ask questions about the adventure. This is a great tool for teachers to use in a group-setting, allowing all children to show off their language knowledge.
Now, that your students can comprehend and say new vocabulary, it’s time to practice reading using fun interactive literacy games. Again, you have an option to play the game in English and the second language. ELL students who need more practice in English may spend more time on English games while native-English speakers will likely need more time with second language games.
The main objective of the literacy game is to enable students to practice reading sight words. In this game, students read a word and click on the picture that matches it. The literacy game functions in a similar manner to the comprehension game. Once the student clicks on the correct answer the visual comes into the scene and the word is pronounced by the native speaker. This allows students to associate written words with proper pronunciation. If the students struggles to answer the question correctly, the correct answer is highlighted.
Students may play the games individually, in small groups, or as a class activity. This helps foster a positive learning environment that will encourage participation and teamwork from both native speakers and ELL students.
Mastering all four parts of a module indicates that a child has a good understanding of the educational vocabulary and concepts within the module, and is ready to move on to the next.
If at any time you wish to return to the adventure map, you may use your browser’s back button, or click on the arrow at the bottom of each adventure page.
Every learning page is organized in the same manner, which makes it very easy to navigate.
To minimize the adventure map to access the menu bar, simply click “Close Full Screen” in the top righthand corner of the map.
The Menu Bar
You can access the rest of the Little Sponges® website through the menu bar at the top of each page.
Our homepage offers basic information about our program including testimonials from various schools and teachers that have already implemented our program.
The on-demand training page is located as a drop-down option of the home tab. If you wish to return to this implementation guide at any time, it will be found on this trainmen page. There is also a 20-minute video you can watch that covers the contents of this page, as well as links to other tips to remember while using Little Sponges®.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
The frequently asked questions page is a hub of answers to questions that are commonly asked about the Little Sponges® program. If the answer to your question is no addressed on the FAQ page, feel free to contact us via our help page, and a representative will be in contact within 24 hours.
You can use the courses tab to access any of the language track programs that are available to your students. Clicking on the course will take you to the adventure map.
The assessments tab provides easy access to the assessments in each language.
We recommend that students take the assessment before and after embarking on their language adventure. These age appropriate assessments leverage colorful, real-life images and audio to assess students knowledge in their first and second language.
The assessment scores establish the baseline providing helpful information for teachers and parents regarding student’s proficiency in each language.
If you would like to know which topics are covered in each learning module, you can go to the curriculum tab. The Little Sponges® curriculum covers a wide range of topics.
The beginner level modules cover greetings, alphabet, shapes, counting, body parts, senses, weather and many other essential topics that help students build a strong vocabulary foundation, preparing them to progress in their language and literacy skills.
The next set of learning modules helps students further progress in their language and literacy skills while teaching them more complex topics and concepts. In these learning modules students will learn vocabulary pertaining to habitats, insects, professions, physical well being, transportation, solar system, and music.
Through storytelling, songs, and interactive activities, Mishka and Frog also introduce students to new grammar concepts such as the proper use of present tense, verbs, and superlative adjectives.
We pride ourselves on our close relationships with teachers and schools. If at any time you have a question about our program or wish to send your testimonials about our program, we are more than happy to hear from you. Comments submitted on this page will be addressed within 24 hours.
If you’d like to learn more about little sponges or the science behind bilingual immersion, our blog is updated regularly with new articles about the joys and benefits of bilingual learning. These articles come from various leading publications and universities. We also share helpful tips for implementing the program and insights from other educators who have implemented our program successfully.
If you would like to stay connected with Little Sponges® as well as teachers and parents who use our program, you can like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our Youtube channel. Our Youtube channel has a collection of free bilingual content and songs for children. Also, we offer unique opportunities for teachers to get involved and participate via special contests.
In summary, Little Sponges® was designed for children using their innate ability to learn new concepts and soak in multiple languages in a way that’s fun and effective. We hope this implementation guide has been helpful in teaching you how to navigate our website and get the most value out of our program!
Thank you for implementing Little Sponges® and giving your students the gift of bilingual education! We wish you a great learning adventure!