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The Flitlits, Chromecast, Nessy Reading, Teach Your Monster To Read

I haven’t blogged for ages but here are a couple of reviews of a few resources.

The Flitlits

The Flitlits is a series of narrated (if needed) iPad story apps created by Eiry Rees Thomas with support from the Welsh Government. They’re all available in the iTunes store. The characters inhabit the island of Fussbut, Seldom See, an imaginary land that time forgot. The apps are aimed at KS2/Grades 2-5 but the stories could be told and discussed with younger pupils too. The quirky stories are written in rhyming couplets and have a retro-storytelling feel to them. It is at the word-level/vocabulary-level that is perhaps where the best use of the stories could be exploited for educational purposes, I can certainly see me dipping into the stories for this purpose.

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The three apps are

There is an extensive educational guide for curriculum ideas and possibilities for teachers to peruse. Welsh Language educators in particular could use the rhyming aspect of the stories to create resources for rhyming skills along the lines of the PAT (Phonological Awareness Training) resources, also perhaps to Tric A Chlic Welsh phonics programme. It’s perhaps pertinent to mention there is a dearth of resources in Welsh for any teachers with pupils displaying dyslexic tendencies. I hear though Pearson will be publishing some materials soon developed by walesdyslexia/dyslecsiacymru, they can’t come quick enough.

Chromecast

Chromecast is a dongle-sized device that plugs into the HDMI port on your TV, once set up, you can then stream your pc, tablet or phone screen to the TV, a bit like Apple TV. You can easily cast the screen from your Android phone or tablet, so e.g. docs in Google Drive could be displayed, photos from Gallery, doing away with the need for a visualiser/docu-cam etc., here’s a list of cast-friendly Android Apps. There are a growing number of Ipad apps that can cast, for example Youtube and other media can be streamed. Here are some ideas for classroom use, here’s another good article. Both point out that as an open platform, security is an issue. I’m sure some edu-safety boffins will find a solution, but the device does seem to have enormous educational potential.

Nessy Reading

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Those of you who are familiar with the Nessy Learning Program (and don’t know yet), will be pleased to learn that Nessy is now accessible online as Nessy Reading. Site licences for schools are available, as are single subscriptions for parents. All the features of Nessy are still there; 100s of worksheets, animations, mnemonics, games, strategies etc, with the ability to track pupil progress, which is invaluable as a homework monitoring device for me. The initial assessment sets targets in reading and spelling then the pupil is guided by arrows pointing which activity to attempt next. The coup-de-grace for me is that unless the pupil scores at least 8/10, the level isn’t completed and must be done again, this doesn’t happen in the CD version.

Whilst Nessy was developed at the Bristol Dyslexia Centre, any pupils struggling with literacy may well benefit from having a go at using the Nessy program.

*Use the code RED DRAGON for ANY Nessy product (including schools) will receive 10% discount.

Teach Your Monster To Read

The fab TYMTR is now available as an App in the iTunes store. Early years, if you haven’t tried it, have a look.

CW

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

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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.

 

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