Written on October 12, 2012 – 10:55 am | by Catina Chapman
My kindergarteners at one of my elementary schools began using iPads this week. Several free apps concerning Letters had been downloaded and grouped in a folder on the second screen of the iPads. Those apps are: ABC Phonics, Little Matchups ABC, ABC Alphabet, Beginning Sounds, and Spelling Bug.
Students began in Little Matchups ABC by matching uppercase, lowercase letters, sounds and pictures with beginning sounds together. In that app and ABC Phonics, the more answer students answer correctly, the more choices appear on the screen. This means that a teacher walking around can see who needs help and who is ready for the next level.
There were two students whose teachers realized knew all their letters and sounds, and could probably begin building words. Those two students used Spelling Bug to create three and four letter words. Students were directed to whichever app that seemed to be on their current level. ABC Alphabet Phonics asks students to identify letters by name. Little Sorter is even lower: students discriminate between several letters, puzzle style. As they matched each shape to it’s spot, the app announces the letter name. Beginning Sounds allows users to choose three letter sounds by picture: we chose monkey, rainbow, and sun since they have covered those three letters sounds so far this year.
Our most interesting learner of the day cannot identify letters by name, but could match as a puzzle. Interesting part: she could hear beginning sounds of letters learned. She did really well with the Beginning Sounds app. Her teacher decided to make flashcards for her and send them home with Mom during Parent-Teacher conferences that night.
The best part about the time with individual iPads was that each student got immediate feedback in a “just-right” app for them.