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Grammar Bytes!

(i)

 

Grammar study site could use more pizzazz.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn about a variety of language directives. Grammar Bytes! doesn't try to sink its teeth into every grammar rule, but its content aligns with many of the related Common Core Standards for grade school through high school. Topics range from sentence fragments to punctuation to subordinate conjunctions. Kids will find some exercises, but overall, the design is pretty basic, and there's a lot of reading. The videos and PowerPoint presentations sometimes feel too long (and really aren't very exciting). Though Grammar Bytes! is a decent source of info, it would benefit from more complex, diverse activities.

Positive messages

Users are rewarded with a pretend prize, such as an island getaway, for correct grammar quiz guesses.

Violence
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Sex
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Language
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Consumerism

Space has been saved for a shopping section but there are currently no ads or items for sale.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids will need specific software to view parts of this grammar instruction site: Adobe Reader for handouts, PowerPoint for presentations, and rules section items are available in a PDF or HTML version. A link to the Grammar Bytes! YouTube page could potentially expose kids to inappropriate and less educational videos; but otherwise, the site is self-contained and safe.

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What's it about?

Users can learn about sentence structure, prepositional phrases, and other concepts on GRAMMAR BYTES!, which offers explanations for more than 60 language-related terms and concepts. Users can also view online grammar quizzes, PowerPoint presentations, and some very long videos. They can find a good overview of many basic rules and can get an explanation for any answer.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Grammar Bytes! features detailed explanations, with examples, of more than 60 grammatical terms and concepts including verb tense, fragment and run-on sentences, prepositional phrases, and adjectives. Users can test their knowledge of sentence structure by taking online grammar quizzes, which include printable PDF documents to record their answers. Users also have the option of clicking on a link to get an explanation for any answer. The content is well-written, and kids will get an overview of many basic grammar rules.

Unfortunately, the quiz exercises, which are the site's most interactive element, are fairly basic and start to feel tedious pretty quickly. PowerPoint presentations are included to offer additional information, but like much of the rest of the site, they're heavily focused on reading instead of visual elements or user interaction. The site also has a few original language-themed videos, but many are long (some clock in at more than 14 minutes) and seem to drag. If Grammar Bytes! doesn't find a way to spice up its text-heavy content, kids may lose interest before they get past the first exercise.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how much time kids should spend online. The activities on the site help kids practice grammar, but -- as with any game -- kids could lose track of time when playing them. Check out our How to Set Screen Rules that Stick guide for suggestions.

  • How are games that involve words and math problems different than ones that involve shooting and battles? Can you have fun playing each kind? How can you tell if a game is meant for kids or adults?

  • The activities on the site are designed to help reinforce language skills. What grammatical concepts do you find confusing? Are there other ways you can practice grammar and sentence structure?

Website details

Subjects:Language & Reading: speaking, writing clearly
Skills:Self-Direction: academic development, self-assessment
Communication: conveying messages effectively, speaking
Genre:Educational
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free

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