SNAP! Learning: A New Reading Program

A few days ago, I received a Demo code to check out SNAP! Learning, a reading program developed by Sullivan Learning Systems.  After doing a little research, I found out that the company is located in Fresno, where I live.  I made an appointment to meet Mark Sullivan, the President and Founder of Sullivan Learning Systems. There’s nothing like a personal demonstration of a product to generate excitement! SNAP Learning is designed to support students and teachers in the implementation of Common Core State Standards.   What I like about SNAP Learning: The titles cover grade levels Pre-K through 8th grade Books can be read on the iPad or printed out in PDF format The iPad version contains interactive elements Scores on Cloze, Multiple Choice, and Fluency activities on the iPad are uploaded to the website Measure section There are comprehensive lesson plans for the teacher, available as PDFs on the website, or on the iPad when you are logged in as the teacher There are many non-fiction stories, especially at the upper grade levels The audio for the stories uses a clear and pleasant voice The visuals are supportive rather than distracting The support via email or phone is excellent Color versions of the books, lesson plans, and record books are available for individual purchase The app is available for Android and Kindle Fire also (I only reviewed the iPad version) DRA, Fountas & Pinnell, Rigby, and Reading Recovery, and Grade Levels are provided for Pre-K through 1st Grade Lexile and Flesch-Kincaid readability levels are provided for 2 through 8th Grade Information on CCSS (Common Core State Standards)...

Squishing Squash, Pinching Peppers!

Dexteria, Jr. averted a cupcake meltdown this morning!  This new app by Binary Labs was a lifesaver with my 4 1/2 year old grandson. He was immediately fascinated by the games and stayed engaged for nearly an hour.  His favorite comment, “Awesome!!!”  His next favorite comment? “This is Awesome!” According to an email from the developer: We developed it in response to the OTs, parents, and teachers who love Dexteria but say that sometimes the activities are too hard for the younger kids.  So we designed new activities for smaller hands and younger minds. We added music, characters, sprite animations, and some surprises to make it fun and engaging for preschoolers and toddlers. The Science Behind Dexteria Jr. – The Motor-Cognitive Link It’s common knowledge that fine motor skills help a child succeed in school with tasks like handwriting, using scissors, manipulating objects, etc.  However, recent research shows that fine motor skills also develop the same brain function as used in reading, mathematics, and science.  Research shows there is a strong relationship between the development of fine motor skills in early childhood and later success in math, reading, and science. Dexteria Jr. targets the sweet-spot age group for developing fine motor skills and associated cognitive function. It’s important to master fine motor skills by age 6 to help ensure later academic success. After playing with my grandson, I can say that Dexteria, Jr., meets its goals.  In Squish the Squash, the child taps a cute little squash, which goes flat and makes a satisfying ‘splat’ sound.  The app tracks how many squash are tapped and how long it takes for...

Picture Prompt Timer

Picture Prompt Timer is a simple, but highly useful, app from Look to Learn.  It follows an “If-then” format, which is really helpful for kids who have a difficult time understanding the concept of completing one activity before beginning another. It’s very simple to set up, with a variety of options which can be used individually, two or three at a time, or all together. The instructions are intuitive, even for someone like me who loves have everything spelled out in detail. Here’s a description of the app from the developer: The same group that brought you Look2Learn, Stories2Learn, and Video Scheduler, brings you an innovative visual support for individuals with autism and other disabilities! The Picture Prompt Timer (PPT) allows you to display two photographs in a first/then format (First you do this, then you get this) with a corresponding bar that shows the individual how much time is left on task. While such a visual tool is helpful, the PPT adds a new dimension – an auditory prompt that allows you to customize a message that will play at intervals you set up! For example, if you want Johnny to stay on task and he needs to be reminded every 30 seconds, just simply set up an audio reminder and tell it how frequently to play. The end result is Johnny has a constant reminder of what he needs to do. With the Picture Prompt Timer you are able to add your own photos and auditory reminder. In addition, you are able to add customized feedback at the completion of the task. This can be effective when...

Pictello Contest!

Check it out!  Normally $12.99, the app is 30% off until January 1st. From the Pictello People: The Pictello “Picture All the Ways to Use Pictello” contest began Dec. 18th and will run until January 13th. We also have Pictello on a 30% discount until January 1st! We are seeking people’s creative, creative, entertaining and inspiring stories! Add your Pictello story now and .. win!  The audience will choose the winner by voting on their favorite stories on our website, Each week the two stories with the most votes will receive an iTunes gift card of 30 dollars/euros (or the equivalent of that in your currency) and a small surprise! At the end, there will be a grand prize of a free copy of one of our software at choice. That can thus be Pictello, Proloquo2Go or one of our Mac products. Winners may request to have their software prize donated to a user, professional, or an organization that provides therapy or evaluation services, if they wish! For more information about the contest, your readers can click here:http://www.assistiveware.com/picture-all-ways-use-pictello Also, we have been posting tips and winners info and more on our FB...

It’s Tense Out There!

  Mobile Education Store has added another great tool to their language development toolbox, with their latest app, Tense Builder.  As with the other apps, Kyle Tomson did extensive field testing with speech therapists and their students.  This shows in the attention to detail in the animated videos, student directions, short and long lesson explanations, and the various options in the settings menu. There is a comprehensive video tutorial on the settings screen that is a very clear introduction to Tense Builder. Check out this sneak preview. Also on the settings page, you can set the level of play, choose to study regular and/or irregular verbs, and past, present, and/or future tenses.  An additional feature is the option to select which verbs you want to target.  You can choose the long lesson (good for introducing a new verb or tense) or the short lesson (good for review of previously introduced verbs/tenses).  Audio instructions can be turned on or off, as can correct answer reinforcement, and the option to record the correct answer or not. You can save information for more than one student, which is a great option. As with other Mobile Education apps, the student can record a sentence to practice the verb.  My nephew, who is 22 and autistic, is sometimes reluctant to record his voice.  However, he likes to try out different voices for fun and practice and then listen to them.  Recorded sentences can be saved. The student’s results can be emailed to their parents or classroom teacher. The following images show the verb “Finish.” The student taps play and a short lesson about the...