Speech pathologists are always on the lookout for new games and therapy ideas. With this in mind, I recently found the Home Speech Home website. It is full of resources, ideas, tips and resources for purchase. There is a blog, to which I subscribe. Through this blog, I found a fun app called What’s the Pic Articulation This articulation app is based on the age old principle of rewarding students for repeating target sounds over and over! In a nutshell, the app has a hidden picture that students have to identify. The picture is covered by smaller “stickers” (cookies, cute little pigs, funny babies, etc).
Last week marked the 50th anniversary of Playschool, an iconic educational children’s TV programme that has been captivating several generations of Australian children. Big Ted, Little Ted, Humpty and Jemima… they don’t look their age at all. In honour of this anniversary, the App Store was featuring Playschool apps last week. A recent study by Lisa Kervin of the University of Wollongong suggests that screen time that engages both parents and kids at the same time can be rewarding for both. There is one app I really like that does just that: it is ABC’s Art Maker. Featuring well-loved Playschool characters, the app is aimed at 2-6 year olds (but I know from experience that older kids – such as me – like it a lot too)!
Having recently moved offices and lifted heavy boxes full of paper resources, I found myself longing for a paperless clinic. An email from Smarty Ears mentioning the release of their new iTAP app (Test of Articulation and Phonology for iPad) couldn’t have come at a better time. I decided to review this app and to ask some of my speech kids to rate it as well.
iTAP works very much like most paper articulation tests: the child names a series of pictures containing specific phonemes and consonant clusters in all positions in single words. The app targets 64 phonemes and consonant clusters in all positions across 58 words and includes a multisyllable probe at the end.
NAPLAN results were published recently and it seems that, in the seven years since the tests were implemented, overall results remain practically unchanged (www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-05/naplan-results-show-limited-improvement-in-students-skills). Christophe Pyne, Australia’s federal minister for Education and Training stressed the “need to focus on the basics of school education.” Children forge a love of learning in the early years and it is therefore critical to engage them and give them a sense that they can be successful learners. Below are five engaging and effective literacy resources that, in my experience, support children's literacy skills and keep them motivated. They are designed to provide plenty of scaffolding and progressive steps, which in turn, allows children to experience success at any level and maintain a positive approach to learning. But before you go further, take the time to reflect on your Top 5 literacy resources. What are they? Share them by posting a comment below.
1. Reading Doctor’s Reading Sounds 1 Pro software (http://www.readingdoctor.com.au).
Looking for language tips, activities and ideas? This blog is for parents, speech pathologists, teachers, educators and anyone with an interest in speech and language.