Showing posts with label phonemic awareness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label phonemic awareness. Show all posts

Friday, October 12, 2012

Appy-Picking Month: Starring You Storybooks

Starring You Storybooks is a freemium app from Jib Jab, which has previously been known for some pretty cool personalized web animations and greeting cards.  Freemium means that it is free to download the app and access/create one storybook; other book creations in the app can be purchased (. I have previously said that sometimes a free app is not worth it, but I think in the case of Starring You Storybooks, there will be value in having just the free portion of this app, which currently allows you to make one storybook: "Dancin' Feet." The fun piece of Jib Jab is that you can quickly and easily place a face into a target, and then that face is incorporated throughout the animations of the story, which are really impressive:

If you find yourself loving "Dancin' Feet" and are tempted by the in-app purchases (which I realize you might not be able to access in schools, for about $12 (2 months of the $2.99 book-a-month plan plus 2 additional $1.99 purchases), you could have 4 additional books and a lot of therapy time to target...

Language Lens:
-Just within "Dancin' Feet" and a few other stories, the books could be used to target rhyming, categories (the Dancin' story is essentially a list of many different types of dances) and simple story structure.

Common Core Connection: 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.3 Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

Thank you to the participant at my presentation at Macomb Intermediate School District who pointed out this app to me!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Make Your Own Backyard Paradise

Make Your Own Backyard Paradise is an interesting, if totally strange, interactive from PBS. Students can select a background and choose from various objects in nonspecific categories (Thing-a-ma-bobs, Doo-Dads, Whatchamacalits), arrange, resize and rotate them to create a potentially absurd scene.

Language Lens
  • Naming the objects in various categories could serve as a good word-finding and description activity.
  • Arrangement and resizing of objects provides a good opportunity to work on spatial and temporal concepts.
  • Discussion of why certain objects go well or look silly in the scene will contextually prompt causal sentence structures.
  • The category names of the objects could help students with word retrieval difficulties become aware of nonspecific language.
  • The "Letter" category could be used in a phonemic awareness activity.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Interesting App- Singing Fingers

Singing Fingers is a FREE app from the folks at the MIT Media Lab's Lifelong Kindergarten Program, a very creative place.  The app allows kids to "fingerpaint with sound"- as you trace a design, sounds you make are recorded by the app.  When you re-trace your drawing, it plays the sound.

Singing Fingers is an iPhone/iPod touch native app; it also runs well on iPad.

I see this app as having a lot of potential in stimulating and reinforcing speech sounds, but I have to admit, I don't have a lot of artic/phonology/apraxia students historically or lately!  So, experts (with access to an iOS device), give this app a try and please let us know what you think in the comments.  I look forward to hearing how you might use this app, or why you might not.

Here's an article on Singing Fingers in the New York Times.  Thank you to Lillie's iPad for making me aware of this app.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


WordWorld is a cool resource from PBS, who have of late done quite a bit of web development to catch up with the BBC's excellent interactives. WordWorld is a pretty open-ended, exploratory site, so you would want to allow for a child-centered approach, but along the way, you will find some excellent reinforcement of letter identification, rhyming, and sound-letter connections. The concept behind the site, a companion to a PBS show, is the use of "WordThings," items which are composed of the letters of their words, with the letters being oriented, colored and textured to resemble the actual word. This would lead to a lot of great descriptive discussion about what the words/items look like, and perhaps an extension project (for older kids, perhaps) of creating your own WordThings.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nifty online ABC book

ABC books, I have always found, can be innovative and fun ways to address a variety of skills besides learning the ABCs. Bembo's Zoo is an online, interactive, and dazzlingly animated version of Roberto deVicq de Cumptich's book. The flash-enabled version of the site brings you to an ABC menu (and fun trailing alphabet cursor), and then to corresponding animals that are built from the letters of their name, like Mr. Elephant here:
Language Lens
  • Students can be asked to predict what animal has been assigned to each letter, as a nice word retrieval task.
  • The actual appearance of each animal is a bit transient--on the screen only briefly--but this could be fun! Ask students to identify which letters form which animal body parts. For an extension activity, students could form their own letter-built animals.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Limericks (Clean)

St. Paddy's Day and thereabouts would be a good time to explore limericks with your students. I always liked Edward Lear's nonsensical writings and drawings when I was a kid- I bet many kids still would. On the other hand, they may not find them funny at all. While I think his habit of "rhyming" a word with itself was sort of cheating, it's still clever stuff. You can access some of his limericks at The Edward Lear Home Page.

Language Lens
  • Explore the absurdity in Lear's poetry with your students, eliciting causal statements about what makes it "nonsense."
  • The drawings could be used as a model before reading his poems aloud without pictures, asking students to make their own sketches (thus practicing a visualization strategy). Kids would enjoy comparing and contrasting the results with Lear's!
  • Phonemic awareness could be targeted by identifying and generating alternate rhymes.
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