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Flo Longhorn ‘My favourite apps for special learners’ List 4 Emergent literacy & ABC apps from UK developers or using a British accent Flo Longhorn September 2012

There are 3 previous lists of ‘my favourite apps for special learners’ .These will be reviewed and re-listed in January 2013, in the new online magazine to commencing in 2013.

ABC enjoy!

Emergent literacy and ABC apps from UK developers or using a UK accent Flo Longhorn September 2012 Introduction The following set of apps are for special learners who are at the emergent stage of learning to communicate, read, write and who enjoy a good interactive story. The apps cover phonics, ‘look and say’ and stimulation methods of beginning to read. Do not forget that communication is also an essential part of literacy, from simple interactions to symbol recognition. Learning at early literacy levels demands a multi sensory approach, using the senses to begin to read. Multisensory literacy approaches can be found in my ‘Literacy for very special people’ book. Although the UK has taken a very focussed approach to emergent reading, with a formal prescribed phonics approach, the reader should ensure that this is the right approach for special learners. They may need a combination of exciting approaches to progress with success and confidence. For example, a learner with hearing impairment, visual impairment or at a simple developmental level will need a combination of approaches. This would be though a personal literacy programme, tailored to their requirements. Remember, the result should be a confident reader of the world that surrounds them, for everyday life and leisure.

Where to find emergent literacy and ABC apps

There are many literacy apps in the iTunes store. This guide covers a range of ABC apps that have a British accent or have a Uk developer. This ensures that these special learners have just one set of sounds to learn with a familiar accent. Some are free or lite to enable a sample to be tried before deciding to purchase, or not. This does not mean that there are not other excellent ABC literacy apps out there. For example, have a quick look at GoodnightABC ‘“This iPad education app stands out as one of the best in what it does” Crazy Mikes Apps review on youtube.

Sound and vision apps for emergent readers Whilst ABCs seem a long way ahead for very special learners, or the early years child, there are many excellent opportunities for them to access exciting and enticing sound and vision apps. Opportunities to react to a range of sound and visual experiences should take place within the context of a strong multisensory education. Below is a carefully selected list of very simple sound and visual apps. They are in no particular order, the learner will soon indicate their favourites and show the way forward! They require the simplest of movements from swipes to taps, or a few demonstrations to catch their attention. Do not be afraid to try apps listed further on in this list. With very special learners or very young learners, unpredicted, disconcerting encouraging things may happen with a complex app..... Refer also to the vision and sound chapters 3 and 5, in my book for further simple sensory app ideas. Beginning to read the world around The following list of apps has the word ‘baby’ in the title, ignore this as they are excellent for sound and vision at very early levels of development. Most are abstract so do not offend the older learner but always check the app out before use. • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

My baby firework Baby view Baby disco Baby images Love baby BLtickle BLshapes BLface BL2strings BL2spots BL2 grow BLblocks Baby’s first moo lite Baby tap ding Simple sound apps Purrfect Xmas Choose from 5 cats, stroke the fur that appears on the screen, it ripples and the cat purrrrrrrrrrs. Balloons pop! A row of large balloons appear, swipe or tap and they pop.

Pocket guitar The guitar strings appear, swipe and clear notes are heard. Can be changed to a bass guitar or ukelele.

Drum master Just tap or swipe the drums or cymbals and their noise is played clearly.

Pocket falls Place your finger or hand in the rushing waterfall which covers the screen, and this creates a different water sound. Rain stick Choose a back ground for the rain stick. Tilt the iPad and the rainstick creates rain sounds. Ratatap drums Swipe to tap on drum kit to produce range of drum sounds. Drum sticks appear to tap on the drums and cymbals. Mugician Swipe anywhere to create abstract notes and musical sounds. As the sounds happen, the screen changes dramatically with special effects on the fingertips as they tap. Doodle sounds Swipe and touch the screen, distinct marks appear which create very clear distinct noises. Colours can be changed. Beat forge Moving lines of squares and zany music. Tap and more squares appear to create different music. Horn Press the horn and blast!

Rubber Ducky Many little ducky’s that quack when a hand is swiped across the screen

Sirens Wakey wakey sirens!

Simple visual apps The following apps are simple and visual, just swipe or tap for stunning visual effects attractive to the visual system. Some of the apps have sounds too. Go to ‘settings’ if you wish to mute the sound or adjust the speed, for example. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Anemone Bloom Cosmic top Volt Lite Ibeams lite Particlescape Gloop free Colourful shapes in motion free Firework Random touch Rattle JB Christmas Kaleido glow Color dots Art firework

iPads, Apps and Special Learners: A-Z for Beginners

by Flo Longhorn

ISBN 10 955900 832 ISBN 13 978 0955900 839

Found at or

ABC apps UK talking alphabet All the letters (upper & lower case) of the alphabet are on one page. There is a male UK accent, Duncan, pronouncing each letter with a tap on the screen. Simple but effective. Talking letters This app presents letters of the alphabet that talk. Duncan is the male voice. The letters are black with stick body parts.

Alphabet UK This is an animated app book, spoken with a UK accent (young girl) . It features animated pictures with an audio example for each one. BritABC lite Uk accent with female voice. The app has a simple layout of images with easy navigation. Additional games are on the full app. Alphababy free Simply tap a letter and random shapes, letters or images appear as the screen is tapped. Fast moving images and a zingy voice provide the experience of a moving image linked to sound. Settings allow recording your own voice to replace the voice on offer. Touch Follow Alphabet I love this one as it is visually clear and simple to follow.The letter appears in white against a black background. Trace with a finger and bright colours fill in the letter shape. A twang of a guitar indicates the finish. Upper and lower case letters( there are other touch apps in the series such as ‘Touch Follow Numbers’) Hairy letters A crazy,funny alphabet app created by UK developer, Nessy. Interact with the silly animations and trace the letter shape on the screen. A little hairy creature shows the way.The letter sound comes to life with the animated characters.There are games to blend sounds into first words. Lower and upper case letters are introduced in six colour coded stages.Well worth buying, my favourite! Alphabet tracer This app covers shapes, sounds, and signs of the alphabet. There is a UK voice option with a selection of voices and British sign language.There is also a phonic choice.The interface is friendly with large buttons and colour choices for the user. Shake to erase. Looks good! English alphabet rap from Thrass UK free with a lively rap!

ABC Expedition This is whacky fun with posh UK accents.Captain Wallace goes to the zoo on an alphabet expedition, zany animals to discover.The art work is original and animated for each letter. Pick a letter, tap the sound and word and they are spoken with adult or child’s voice. and a quirky animated animal ( some fish in there as well) appears and makes suitable animal noises .The sound and word is repeated. There are user friendly large buttons to use and clear drawings. Customer comment from iTunes ‘Packed full of wonderful design humor and learning this is by far the bestABC app on the iTunes app store to date.’ ABC phonics rocks This app introduces the phonetic sound of each letter which are drawn as stick people. Not too sure if it is UK but sounds reasonable. In the letter section, touch the letter, which animates as it is pronounced. The word section is more difficult with a picture appearing from a word family such as ‘fox’ and the word is spoken. If correctly spelt, the little stick letters have a dance! Road Block This is terrific, modern and cool fun .The Fab-Phonics are a young team of superheroes and 'Road Block' with Babybot, a super-strong robot baby!The road is blocked! Can you help Babybot to clear the road? Tap on the missing letter to identify the middle vowel sound and complete the words.Pictures and sounds help the listener.The app contains over 75 words, with colourful illustrations and sounds. It focuses on building fluency in reading and spelling simple, three letter, consonant, vowel and consonant words.Other apps include ‘where’s whats it’ ‘up, up and away’ and ‘space blaster’. Learn English kids phonics Made by the British Council. Learn how to speak and spell English words with super space spies Sam and Pam.The phonics are contained in a set of interactive stories designed to help children who are learning to read and speak English.Based on the UK phonics programme, ‘Letter and Sounds’, the app uses phonics to develop reading and spelling focussing on a different set of sounds in each story. Collect all the stories to learn the sounds of English. ABC magnetic alphabet free The good feature about this ABC is the satisfying clunk as the magnetic letter is placed on the board. There are very simple clear ABC letters, nothing to confuse the learner, no sounds or distracting visuals or yells of joy, just the ABC. It is a fascinating favourite for special learners because of this.The full version has more than 1,000 magnets. Mr Phonics letters and sounds Very popular in the UK, it has 70 literacy videos using the UK synthetic phonics approach to reading. Covers a b c d e f ff g h i j k ck l ll m n o p qu r s ss t u v

w x y z ch sh th ng ai ee igh oa oo oi or ar er ur ow ear ure air.

ABC pocket phonics This app follows the synthetic phonics approach with letters, sounds, writing and first words.This is a substantial app and well worth buying for in depth work in this phonic area. If in use in a school setting. A free guide can be ordered from the app. Kids can spell animals This is a simple spelling game, naming animals who appear in a realistic background. The 26 animals are interactive. The writing of the words is done in cursive writing. English animal alphabet for kids This app is excellent for the more advanced reader and writer. It has an animal alphabet with fun animated animals. The child’s voice is clear as they read a sentence containing the letter of the alphabet. To copy the cursive ABC letter, press the image at the top of the page. There is a visual description of what to do. The only draw back is a lined background which may be intrusive to those who need clear visuals. School fonts This is a very detailed app for learning to write ABC ( fonts approved for use in UK schools) and was devised by teachers. It covers early writing to adult education. It is possible to trace and record audio answers to teacher created audio questions and to customize all content including images, sounds and teacher tracings. Spelling lists, sight words and other content can also be created. It also offers management of multiple profiles with the students tracing and audio recordings sent to a webpage at the end of a completed session, for observation by the teacher. Sounds quite impressive! Push and learn This app was devised with the help of an occupational therapist and is simple to use. It is designed to allow only one button to be pressed at a time and filters out other touches. There are multiple sets of illustrated buttons ( animals, musical instruments and vehicles so far) to explore, speaking the name of each back to them, in a child’s voice. Lexi English This is a vocabulary builder app for the ipad.The words have clear pictures with UK voices, both male and female. ABC train free A noisy train pulls the letters of the alphabet into view. Alphabelch And don’t forget the amazingly rude ABC book Alphabelch~ my favourite! A book about burps!

A few interesting quickies, well worth a look on iTunes ABC train free ABC with UK accent Brit ABC lite Letter peek

Below are some amazing, interactive books and stories to make ABCs and reading really exciting. They are either read with a UK accent or have a theme that will appeal. Enjoy! Don’t forget to have the real book available. Be adventurous and create some artifacts to go in a story sack to complete the experience. Interactive books and stories The following book and story apps are described in ‘Apps, iPads and special learners: an A-Z of resources’ Pages 94 to 98 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

A present for Milo A story before bed ABC lite Dr. Seuss Arthur turns green Bartleby’s book of buttons Bunny fun: head, shoulders, knees and toes Count the animals Cozmos day off lite Green eggs and ham Hide, run and growl Lola and Fred Meet Millie Millie's book of tricks and treats Millie and the lost key Mickeys spooky night puzzle Moo, baa, la la la! Moonfell wood Nighty night! Pat the bunny

• • • • • • • • • •

Sir Charlie Stinkysocks and the really big adventure Snow White HD Strange Sam: musical animated dinosaur book The little mermaid and other stories The night before Christmas pop-out The velveteen rabbit The wolf and the seven little sheep Three little pigs and the secrets of a popup book Toy story read along Toy story 3 read along literacy stories and books

Here are details of a range of excellent books by Allan Penderleith,script writer for Noddy, Thomas the tank and more.....all read with a UK accent including a scottish twang. The smelly sprout - best read at Christmas time, remember to have real sprouts on hand..... The Chicken and the egg Wonderful because the chicken is called Flo and it is a really good story!

Polly Poodles noisy book a simple sound effect book with surprising sounds.

And there is the android app’ Tommy’s talking bottom’ which seems to be too rude for iTunes, shame on them!

The Chocolate princess The story line is excellent for those who love chocolate, have some ready for the story line, makes a good drama!

Tickle finger in the jungle Tiny Tinga is a little monkey who takes the reader on a ticklish interactive journey through the jungle

Tickle finger under the sea Tiny Tinga goes under the sea for his journey this time, great for more tickles and concentrated tickling of the monkey!

More ABC story and book apps The little Fox music box This is a gorgeous,, funny app that can be viewed on many levels.The excellent interactive sets are designed by Oscar nominated Heidi Wittlinger.The music is composed of tunes such as ’Old McDonald’ but are such fun, even has a karaoke section and a Fox sound studio to extend the app. Customer comment on iTunes ’From the first moment this I have sat with a big grin on my face. Its absolutely beautiful and `I love exploring each page and finding new things to click on’ Emily’s granddad aged 61 and 3/4’ Harold and the purple crayon This app is a simple as can be, follow the purple crayon and help Harold on his interesting journey. This classic story was written in the 1950’s by Crockett Johnson. The first part of the app teaches how to help Harold with simple clear uncluttered illustrations to follow.

This ‘traditional storyteller series’ of apps is produced in the UK, read by a variety of male and female storytellers, and has won the UK education resource award 2012. There are a series of stories and each app includes: • A classic tale from around the world • A map game • Listen and repeat game • Tell your story game • Best bits selection The stories include; • The great turnip • Three little pigs • Too much talk • Anoncie and the drum of common sense • How the elephant got his trunk Customer comments on iTunes ‘very well told and just the right length’ ‘We loved the expressions and enthusiasm of the storytellers’.

There’s a monster at the end of the book and (turn the page)

There’s another monster at the end of the book Both books are winners of best book app awards and feature the classic Sesame Street books with an interactive experience that includes all the characters, including Grover. It has a simple point and touch approach. Spike and orange ball ( free at the moment July’12) I really enjoyed this simple storytelling app produced by Allan walker, a true tale about a dog’s best friend who is separated from his toy but joyfully re=united at the end. Spike reads the story to you with a deep manly voice. Where do balloons go? Written by Jamie Lee Curtis, it follows the balloon’s journey around the world when it is released from a little boys hand. Good illustrations that are animated when touched. Edsels Mcfarlan’s new car lite Gorgeous illustrations, read with a USA male accent and a good story line.

Brave Rooney iPhone mom says “Brave Rooney was written by Gerry Renert, an award winning and Emmy nominated children’s television writer. He’s tapped into this familiar worry, “Will I fit in?” and he presents it in a humorous way that I think children will really understand and relate to. I know my kids did! This story is a winner for back to school or any time of the year!” Yuckles 1 Read with a growly Australian accent and a sense of great humour. Not for the faint hearted, its full of all the rather rude language children love but does have a good ecological slant too! I love the grubby illustrations too....Free (August’12) Tickle stomp The developer says ‘read in the Queens English’ so it is a winner! Free( August 2012) In this edition, Miss Moo has lost her Moo and she needs some help from her friends to find it! Learn about friendship, imagination, and exploration as Fancy the Precocious Kitty starts adventuring, Puddles the Puppy Puddler is puddling, Smarty the Know-it-Owl enjoys reading, and the Nutty Squirrel is causing problems. Miss Moo the Mooless Cow needs your help,! My underwear An app to accompany Todd Parr’s book ‘Underwear: do’s and don’ts’ Its terrific and just out in the UK.

More advanced readers ( and adults!)may enjoy: The land of me (Free July 2012). This is a UK voice with an interactive story, where the reader chooses the way the story will go. When the story is chosen, it appears in chalk drawings on the wall of the storytellers cave. Produced by Penguin books. Colin rescues Skippy-written by Catherine Shaw ( free July 2012) This is a traditional story book with turning pages and UK spoken narrative. The story line follows the rescue of a seagull and its return to the wild. Very interesting for the ecological strap line and good clear images. Real Pinocchio This traditional story has 236 pages with many interactive pages. Quite a marathon of a book following the traditional tale, interspersed with old fashioned illustrations which are animated. A good long read! Tin Tin the game A very popular games app that follows an original TinTin story line. The animations are superb based on Speilberg’s film, and there are opportunities to learn about interactive gaming. This app has legs This is based on the book by Scott Mendin ‘What if everything had legs?’. A quirky,funny modern story with legs being made in a leg factory and attached to the oddest of objects, need I say any more? Rockfords rock opera An elaborate app that is really a musical app, great for the teenager who likes modern music. Rockford’s Rock Opera isa story about extinction backed by environmental organisations, but it is also a tale of hope and happiness. Created by Elaine and Matthew Sweetapple and written by BBC comedian, Steve Punt, Rockford's Rock Opera is supported by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) who say :‘Rockford's Rock Opera is a thought provoking and heart warming story that not only provides wonderful, musical entertainment for all ages, but also highlights environmental issues in an engaging way.’ And the last two! Free at the moment (September 2012) on iTunes, most of the Collins Big Cat reading series ( UK) including ‘the bike ride’ ‘playing’ and ‘at the dump’. Catch them while you can!

Beau crow greedy crow -Just out ( August 2012) and a fun story for younger readers.

Apps for Special Learners - List 4  

Flo Longhorn's list of apps for very special learners - list no 4 - September 2012

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