Apps for Early Years Literacy

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One of my colleagues came to me today to ask me about Haiku Deck. Simple question, simple answer – took no time at all. But while she was in my office she asked me if there were any other apps that she could be using in her classroom.

She is confident in using Haiku Deck and Educreations. Great start. She’s confident, her students are confident, but she realised that she needed to take another step.  As the Junior Primary unit have just introduced the Soundwaves spelling program, I showed her how to use the app Popplet to help students segment into their phonemes and graphemes. I found this idea from the Conversations in Literacy blog, via Pinterest. Even though the blog shows how to break words into syllables, this is also perfect for the segmenting stage of Soundwaves. Popplet is not a strict Literacy app, but for this purpose – it creates the boxes automatically and can be easily photographed to record students’ learning. We only have Popplet Lite at my school, but there is a full version you can pay for.

My colleague’s class is also looking at recounts and retells in Literacy. I showed her the app Tellagami – it suits the purpose of retells really well. If retelling the story using their own voice, students only have 30 seconds of talk time. This is a big point to make to just include the most important points. If students are capable of typing in their retell of the story, they only have 420 characters to type. Personalising their Tellagami, or their character, is all part of the fun – using photos as a background, changing their voice etc. These Tellagami’s can be saved to the camera roll as a video, or emailed.

The final app (or collection of apps) that I showed her were the Collins Big Cat Reading apps. These apps have 3 options – Read to Me, Read by Myself or Story Creator. As most storybook apps, the main function is to read the story, or have it read to you. My favourite function on these apps though is the ‘Story Creator’ option. This allows children to retell the story by building the whole book. From choosing the background to the characters, students can recreate the story and even record their own voice as they tell you exactly what happened in the story that they were reading!

I left work with a very happy colleague this afternoon. I was pretty happy too. People are asking for help and happy and grateful for advice. Small wins 🙂

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