Thursday, October 24, 2013

A good letter sound app and some indoor fun

The last week has been quite a fun week in class, but today I had to deal with some behaviour issues! Having dealt with all of this we decided to have some fun in the class again. And so started the mildly chaotic game of balloon tennis!
All you need is a few balloons, some paper plates and some rulers. Get the kids to decorate their paper plates - you could even turn this into a sensory activity and get them to use finger paints (also great for fine-motor)! Grab the rulers and tape them to the back of the paper plates - and you have some racquets! Now all you need are the balloons. Try and have enough balloons for each child (if your kids are old enough, get them to do some oral motor exercises by blowing up the balloons), blow them up and now you have balls! So you're ready to start, throw the balloons around and get them to hit the balloons. This is such a great activity for eye-hand coordination, as well as building that shoulder stability and strength that is so incredibly important for handwriting and fine motor dexterity!
Needless to say, the behaviour has improved from everyone! We all had a great time, and when we sat down to do some literacy work, the focus was incredible!!
So what literacy work did we successfully cover today? Well, it includes a free app!!

Little Matchups ABC is really great! It has an option to change the settings, so you can switch off the letter names, and it will only use the letter sounds - which for us South African Teachers is really fantastic! It teaches the child to identify the capital letter and the small letter. The voice over announces each sound as you touch it, you then have to match the small letter to it's capital. It's a fun app with some interesting sounds to motivate the child, and when an incorrect answer is put in, it gives a wrong answer sound and moves the letter away from where the child has incorrectly placed it! I have given this app 3 stars, as it is free, there are no in-app purchases, however it is rather simple and will probably have a very short lifespan in your classroom! Added to this, it does not provide you with any data about how the child has done so you need to be watching to see what they get right or wrong!