As children, parents and teachers put away their Christmas decorations for another year and dust down their schoolbooks, attention will soon turn to exams and how to prepare your class of thirty bright-eyed children for success. One test that, like it or not, will feature again this year is the Phonics Screening check at the end of Year 1.
Whether you see the 'test' as a positive or negative introduction to a young child's school learning, there is no question that everyone will want the best outcome for each child.
So, preparation is key. But how can teachers ensure that all children in the class are learning their phonemes and graphemes, and blending sounds with confidence and accuracy?
With the emergence of tablets and educational apps, the opportunities and ways to help children learn these vital life-long skills have increased. Windows 8 apps are at the forefront of this technology, helping to enhance teaching and learning and creating new opportunities for learners to engage with relevant and interactive content.
We at Ladybird know that teachers do a sterling job in incredibly difficult circumstances, so have created two apps to help give your children the opportunity to learn their phonemes, practise their blending skills and use their phonics to spell accurately. Each app has multi-user account functionality so each child can play the fun space-themed games on their own, while allowing teachers and parents to chart individual progress.
Ladybird’s I’m Ready to Spell! app is ideal for all children have learnt their letters and sounds and now need to practise, practise, practise, helping children prepare for the Phonics Screening Check and beyond. With three fun games to complete and a wealth of spellings, everything from short CVC words and unusual spellings, to longer spellings of compounds, prefixes and suffixes for those children in Year 2 and beyond.
The app allows children to complete three levels – easy, medium and hard – in each game. Children can view their progress in the trophy screen, while adults can see which words have been spelt correctly and which ones the child has struggled with in the user's word list. This enables teachers and parents to tailor learning for the individual more effectively.
A unique feature of the app is the ability for teachers and parents to add individual school spellings to the Speedy Spellings game – these might be words an individual child is particularly or consistently struggling to spell or the whole class’ weekly spellings that can be added to one user account and copied across to all the children’s individual accounts.
Ladybird I'm Ready for Phonics! is an exciting new way to teach phonemes, graphemes, blending and segmenting. Its twelve space-themed levels allow the children to build on skills learnt and develop at their own pace as they tackle the full phonics curriculum in this extensive, yet easy to use, app.
The app allows children to record the phonemes themselves, play them back and watch a video to see the mouth shape used to form each sound. Each level unlocks once completed, so children learn in a structured way that doesn't deviate from the school curriculum.
To find out more about Ladybird apps, and download the apps, go to the Windows store.