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04 Feb, Saturday
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Montreal Families

Website offers free help with homework

After the extra-extra-long break from school, many students are feeling behind academically. If your child could benefit from some homework help or to review key concepts, the made-in-Quebec website AlloProf is a great resource.

Founded in 1996, the non-profit French online platform offers help for Quebec students of all ages.  The website offers free lesson plans and homework help for students. There are exercises and games for students of all grades in math, French, history, science, English as a second language, geography and even Financial Education. There are also resources to help prepare for ministry exams.

On August 21, Alloprof launched its new-and-improved website to commemorate a new school year in Quebec. According to AlloProf spokesperson Marc-Antoine Tanguay, the biggest difference with the new platform is that it is much easier for students to navigate and is much more instructive.

“The objective behind this is to help the student find the content they are looking for faster,” Tanguay says.

How is this done? Well, AlloProf works like an online retail shop. Once you shop a few times at a store, you develop a profile based on your searches, so the store can give you recommendations based on what you’ve searched and/or bought. Over time, AlloProf develops a profile on students based on their search activity to give them suggestions on activities to help with the specific difficulties they may be having.

AlloProf offers many games to get students interested in doing their homework. For example, Gommophone helps students from grades four to six with their French homophones. For each set of three words that sound alike, the student must pick the right word meaning in each sentence. With every right answer, the student helps their bug friend climb the gum latter from under the desk. If you get enough answers correctly, the bug can safely fly away, unhurt.

The platform also includes exercises for core subjects in each grade. For example, in the grammar exercises, students are provided with example sentences and can practice their determinants by classifying each sentences according to the type of determinant that is written in parentheses: definite, undefined or demonstrative. The website also includes a detailed guide on what students should be including in their memory aids for their secondary four ministry Math exam. And there is even a speak-to-a-teacher function – educators are available via phone from Monday through Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. to answer  questions.

When a student goes on AlloProf, they are accompanied by an avatar called Flo. He’s there if you need an answer that you can’t easily find on the website. For example, if the student has a grammar question, they can search or ask Flo to find a solution to their problem. If they can’t find it in the search bar, the website will ask them personal questions to refine the search so they are better accompanied from beginning to end.

“The challenge of the student is to find out what the problem is and why they are having certain difficulties,”  Tanguay says. “In general, kids have the same questions. The students, for example, in secondary two Math, will generally be blocked with the same problems. Students will be able to put in key words on the site in the chat box to get to the content that they need to help them with their problem, or it may send them to a teacher to ask their questions.”

Although all the student content is only in French, there is a section in English for parent about how to help kids with homework, exam preparation, report cards, the school system, and tips on how to get your kids to love to read. It even includes testimonials from other parents who went through similar challenges.

AlloProf is currently used by more than half of Quebec students. Over the next three years, the hope is that number will be at 80 per cent. Every week there will be new material and exercises updated on the website. For more information, click here.

For English students in Quebec, virtual tutoring and homework help is being offered by LEARN Quebec.

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