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Nessy Apps

I’ve had a good play with all the Nessy Apps on my android Smart Ultra 6 phone and they all run pretty smoothly. The Hairy Words apps are particularly good for High Frequency Words. Check out more information on Nessy products.

 

If you use the code ‘red dragon’ at the cart, you’ll get 10% off.

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Chimp Fu and Nessy

Just in time for summer hols, Nessy Learning Ltd have released a new app on both iTunes and Google Play– Chimp Fu! Chimp Fu press release

Chimp_Fu_app

Chimp Fu takes an aspect of the Nessy Learning System and provides a games-based graded approach to ‘chunking’ or segmenting words into syllables. The player is introduced to strategies to help break up words then can play a series of games. I’ve played it with some of my pupils and they seem to enjoy the games and progression. The neat thing about Chimp Fu is that if you have a Nessy.com account, Chimp Fu will sync to it allowing pupils to pick up progress on any device. The App costs £1.99 on iTunes but is FREE on 17th July for 24 hours, don’t miss out!! It’s £1.79 on Google Play.

|||***If you use the code ‘Red Dragon‘ for ANY Nessy product, then you will receive a 10% discount***|||

Chimp_Fu_word_chop

 

Whilst it’s aimed at KS 1 & 2 pupils, many older struggling readers may benefit from using the App.

The Nessy Learning System is now available online as NESSY READING and those of you who use Nessy Learning System will welcome this extension. Pupils can access the program from home, with the 1000s of worksheets and printable card games included in the program, it’s a steal. Even better with the 10% discount, just quote Red Dragon.

Nessy Reading is a pretty comprehensive online teaching resource and whilst nothing’s perfect, it ticks lots of boxes for engagement and motivation for those struggling with literacy and the humour running throughout is an endearing feature. There is plenty of overlearning and repetition of patterns and strategies. Don’t be put off by the KS1 & 2 focus, I’ve had plenty of KS3 pupils happily using the games and worksheets to reinforce lesson content.

You can play for free here

 

NB. I have delivered training for Nessy but receive no commission for sales, I just think it’s a good tool.

 

#TMCymru & NGFL-Cymru Innovative Education Awards 2011 #ngflief

Last Monday I spoke at the South Wales chunk of #tmcymru in the WJEC building about how I have used some tech (Nintendo DS, MSPaint on a stylus-equipped Elitebook as a mini writing tool, MS Flashcards and NGFL-Alphabet) and non-tech (plasticine) to make letter shapes in the work I’ve done with a severely literacy-delayed pupil, and a bit about how Kodu has been a springboard for pupils’ writing. Thanks to @asober for all the efforts in trying to stream up to North Wales, but as @innovativeteach pointed out, we were disadvantaged by streaming uphill.

Thursday I went to Cardiff again for the NGFL-Cymru/Partners In Learning Awards as I had been forced, badgered,harangued, hassled, persuaded by Alessio to submit a project. I met/didn’t meet some twitter people for the first time;- @ngflblount, @ikeontoast, @owaingethin, and Ian Morgan, Dafydd Watcyn Williams from NGFL-Cymru, Carys from Llanedeyrn, @ritzertech and @davestacey. As I had won an award in 2009 I was just wondering which of the others would get to go to the IEF in Reading at MS Headquarters in November. I was utterly shocked and delighted I was one of the two projects selected! Congratulations to Owain Gethin Davies for winning the other place and well done to all the other projects, there were great ideas on display. I am really looking forward to going to Reading as the events in Birmingham 2009 and Manchester 2010 were fabulous networking occasions.

Callum’s Letters

Callum (year 5) is trying really hard to remember all the initial letter sounds and the digraphs sh, ch, th and ck.

He’s doing really well using a format based on multisensory methods and short lesson sessions as advocated by the Catch Up literacy program. I have no commercial interest in Catch Up, but as Callum in his baseline assessment knew 13 initial sounds and ‘ck’ (given that he’s now year 5) I thought I’d try the quite systematic approach Catch Up advocates. Obviously as he has such complex needs, I’ve adapted the program somewhat, using the Nintendo DS and MSPaint as recording mediums and one sound per lesson as well as revising previously learned sounds.

I’ve made him write using his ‘magic’ finger, and the stylus on the Elitebook Tablet. He’s written the letters on the desk, tablet, NGFL_alphabet, Nintendo DSi, the walls, the carpet and paper. I’ll post more as the program unfolds.

He blended a n d today to read ‘and’ and as he blended the sounds to make the word, he exclaimed it like it was the first time he had really read it, rather than remembering the ‘and’ word. ‘I’m getting good at reading now’, was his comment.

After a few weeks he’s now recognising and distinguishing between h, t, sh, n, m and u (which bodes well for the future but it’s early days yet!)

I am convinced he is more motivated and engaged in literacy using the Nintendo DS, NGFL Alphabet and the Paint/Stylus input, time will tell.

dyslexia-friendly classrooms -9 things to try

I’m starting a new job next week as a peripatetic Specific Learning Difficulty and dyslexia teacher. Part of the role will be to give advice to mainstream teachers about things they can do in the classroom to help those with SpLD, dyslexia and literacy delay.

Here are just a couple of ideas that people perhaps could use to take down some of those barriers to learning for the pupil with literacy hurdles.

  • Use enlarged photocopies of any small texts to be used.
  • If texts are electronic, different background colours can sometimes help the words ‘stop jumping around’. Pale yellow, pale blue have worked for me. Or high-contrast like pale yellow text on black, see what works.
  • Also, photocopying onto pastel shade paper might help.

yellowblack

blueblack * more info here and here

  • Use a font with a single story ‘a’, rather than a double story ‘a’ as this can be inverted with ‘e’ by some dyslexics and cause confusion. This font is SassoonCRInfant but there are others.
  • Some scanners will turn text into editable text via OCR software, the text can then easily be changed, e.g. enlarging and/or changing the font.
  • There are free screen-readers, here that will read highlighted text although the text-to-speech reader in Clicker5 for example highlights each word as it is spoken, the English accent speech engine is very good too.
  • Those using Internet Explorer can use Bing Translator to act as a Text-To-Speech engine. Highlight some text (not too much, I don’t know the character capacity of it), insert into the left-hand side of Bing Translator, set it to translate into English, and a little speaker will appear and read the text. Helpful for short paragraphs.
  • Word banks with topic-specific words can be helpful posted onto walls, and can be added to.
  • Voice recorders, such as the Easi-speak microphone, the voice record function on the iPod or iPhone etc or simply the sound recorder in the accessories in different operating systems can be used to orally record work/responses, useful for those that have trouble writing down thoughts and ideas.

Ok, those are just some ideas that you might find useful if you’ve got pupils or students with dyslexia, SpLD or general literacy delay.

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