State Kid: Hero of Literacy

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He encourages participants to lie down on the floor or take a quick break to run around the building before getting back to work. We encourage an open discourse about feelings and emotions. Many times, those discussions need to happen before scholars can focus on classwork. Herrejon Vazquez described how Kinder 2 College keeps him engaged by focusing on interesting topics.

During a recent session, the year-old jotted down his thoughts on one of his favorite activities, soccer, in a journal after watching a short video about the popular sport. In addition to enhancing his reading and writing skills, particularly his handwriting, he said the program is setting him up for success.

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Asked about his plans for the future, Herrejon Vazquez said he envisions being a doctor in the military, helping injured soldiers returning from the battlefield. He also hopes to return to Kinder 2 College when he is older to offer his support as a volunteer. His classmate, Danny Moreno, echoed those sentiments.

He has also seen his handwriting and grades improve since joining the program. Another fifth-grade student, Ester Mijangos, has attended Kinder 2 College for four years.

Her mother encouraged her to try it out after seeing how much it helped her younger brother with his regular schoolwork. They had started out the day with a quick meditation circle, talked about community heroes like firefighters and policemen and completed an interactive writing exercise about animals they saw as heroes.

Many of his students are gifted and eager to go beyond the lesson plan, Perdomo said. This app does one simple thing well, which I always like. A word appears on the screen, with each letter in a bubble. When you touch each letter, you hear the sound. The consonants are nice and crisp. If you get the right picture, a rising tone plays, everything rotates and flies off the screen, and the next word and set of pictures appear.

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If you get it wrong, a chime sounds and the picture you touched rotates. You can touch every incorrect picture and you get the same response. You can work in either upper or lower case. For iPad and iPhone. Learn to Read With Pip. The narrative in this app is targeted squarely at little kids, but some of the activities could be used with older learners. The main menu items in it are Voyage, Stories and Games.

I found the Voyage menu confusing. If you touch the dots, you can hear each sound, then if you touch the Pip icon you can hear the word sounded out. There are also some harder books e. Goldilocks in which the words suitable for a beginner to read independently are highlighted. Now this, I like. I have often thought someone should get normal, interesting books, computerise them, and include a way to set their level of decodability electronically, highlighting words with sound-letter correspondences the learner knows.

Then they can be jointly read by adults the harder words and beginners the words they can decode , thus providing both successful decoding practice and a good storyline. App developers, please take note. Errors are ignored and hints provided if you make too many of them.

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There are a few bugs in this software, e. I hope and expect they will iron these out in free upgrades. One other annoying thing about this app, at least for Australians, is the sound of a fly buzzing.

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First sounds taught: s, a, t, p. For iPad, iPhone and iPad Touch. This is another app that takes time to review properly because you have to finish one level before you can unlock the next. So please excuse me for only having played through part of it and then looked at online information to find out the rest. It has slightly kiddie themes, but a non-bolshie nine or ten-year-old would probably not be bothered by them.

It starts off with the whole alphabet on the screen, and when you touch a letter, a screen with that letter and an initial phonics activity here are two words starting with this letter, find the third one appears.

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It includes hard words like astronaut and ambulance, and to succeed, all you have to do is look at the first letters. In the next level, Funky Phonemes is an activity where letters are presented and learners are asked to record the sounds. Another sigh. The next activity, Brilliant Blending, presents printed words, and the learner has to choose the correct picture from a choice of three. Very nice.

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Super Segmenting is another nice activity, where you choose a picture, hear the word, then are provided with all the letters needed to write it and lines to put them on. The next levels up seem to contain the same activities but with harder words. But anyway the Brilliant Blending and Super Segmenting activities make it look worth getting. The Reading Game.

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If you press the correct one, the answer button you pressed turns green, and the correct answer is spoken e. If you get it wrong, it says exactly the same thing but the answer button you pressed turns red. There are no rainbows and no cheering, so some learners used to more clearly differentiated feedback might not be sure whether they were correct.

Next it asks you to choose a letter to complete a word in a sentence e. Whether you get it right or wrong, the correct letter then flies into the word. Then words are missing from sentences and you have to choose the correct one, which flies into the sentence. This app probably needs to be used with adult support, for all but the most motivated users. It has a score at the end, which might help motivate students to see if they can get 30 out of For iPhone and iPad.

Fitzroy Sounding Readers. Books are where you should start with beginners, and getting these books as an app makes them very affordable. When you touch each word in these books, it enlarges on the screen and is sounded out, one letter at a time. A red underline appears under each sound as it is spoken, and then under the whole word as that is spoken.

Australian accent. Hooked On Phonics. However, there is no sounding-out of words in these books, the iPad just reads whatever words are printed at the bottom of the page. The Word Monsters. These are cute little decodable books, with cartoony pictures, funny sound effects and of course monsters but not really scary ones. You can also touch a speaker icon to hear the whole sentence.

If you touch things in the picture, you get animations, sounds and written and spoken words. Unlike many early decodable books which have only four or five pages, the first one has eleven pages of decodable text. Good value. There is good information for parents and teachers and you can download teacher notes and free print activities that go with each book from the Mindconnex website , things like tracing, copying and matching letters to pictures with that initial sound.