Multisensory Monday: TacScreen Review

Hi Everyone,
I know it’s been awhile since I posted for Multisensory Monday– it’s been a busy time at Ladder Learning as we prepare for many new students this summer!

TacScreen
TacScreen

Today I have a video review of the TacScreen, which is a great multisensory tool for travelling Orton-Gillingham tutors or those who just want another option to keep their students engaged (most of our students love some occasional iPad work to break up the lesson.) The TacScreen would be ideal for students with ADHD, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, and Autism Spectrum.

I was sent a free copy of TacScreen to evaluate it, although I had previously purchased a few for my tutors in Atlanta to use. I have been personally using the TacScreen for a few weeks now, and I can definitely say I’m going to leave it on my iPad and continue to use it in my tutoring sessions!

If you would like to purchase your own TacScreen cover, you can do so at www.tacscreen.com

The Top 3 Dyslexia Accommodations

School IEP/504 meetings are coming up!

Here are the Top 3 accommodations which we have found to help our students with dyslexia:

1. Access to AudioBooks (especially important if your child is beginning an Orton-Gillingham program– eventually your child may be able to read all text on his/her own but it takes time to get to that point!) The best we have found is Bookshare paired with the Voicedream app (on an Ipad). Learning Ally is also an option and sometimes the school will pay for your child’s membership.

2. Additional time on tests (because it will take a dyslexic student longer to read/write and re-read text)

3. Use of word-prediction software when writing (Co:Writer is a good one.) This will help your child not have to be concerned with spelling and get his/her ideas onto the page. Eventually your child can use dictation software, but this tends to not work as well for kid’s voices.

Also, please make sure the teachers do not count your child off for spelling, and do NOT make him/her read in front of the class!

If you are interested in learning more about accommodations that help for children with dyslexia, I would recommend watching the 3rd video down on this page: http://www.dys-add.com/freeVideos.html (you can also share this link with your child’s teacher). This video was created by Susan Barton, who is an expert in the field of dyslexia. This handout goes along with the video.

Keep in mind as you watch the video that you are going to choose the 3-5 most important accommodations for your child, and push for those with the school to keep it simple (it doesn’t state that until the very end). You may have more luck getting accommodations informally with your child’s teacher this year, then when the school sees how much they help they may be willing to write it into your child’s plan. This will be important for continuity between years or if your child changes schools.

Multisensory Monday: Apps for Phonemic Awareness

There are a million app lists out there for dyslexia; this is my own carefully-curated list of apps I have personally used with students to help them improve phonemic awareness skills (in preparation for, or in conjunction with an Orton-Gillingham program).

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For younger kids (Pre-K-2nd grade):

  • ABC Magic 6 Sound Beginnings by PreSchool University (Free). This app allows you to work on beginning, middle, ending sounds as well as lower-case letter recognition. Good for younger kids, but the sounds/voices may offend an older child.
  • Montessori Crosswords by L’Escapadou ($2.99). This app lets you work on a bunch of different phonics and spelling skills using a Montessori-style movable alphabet. If you want to use this app to work on phonemic awareness, do the CVC words and have theh student touch the letters to hear the sounds and aid in selecting the correct sounds.
  • Spellyfish Phonics Short-a by Pyxwise software ($2.99). This is an app which is a bit pricey because you have to buy one for each vowel sound; but it has cute animations and introduces children to spelling simple CVC words by dictation with a movable alphabet.

For any age:

  • Hear & Blend the Alphabet by Sound Reasoning Learning Solutions ($0.99). This app is a really unique one that leads the student through hearing sounds and learning to blend sounds together in to words, all guided by a friendly robot!
  • iSpy Montessori by Interactive Labs ($0.99). This is a very simple app which has a voice which says “I Spy something that starts with…” or “ends with…” or “has a… sound in the middle” and the student has to tap the correct picture.
  • FreeFall Spelling by Merge Mobile ($1.99). This app lets you customize spelling lists with sound and pictures for your students to spell. Start with simple CVC words and limited letter choices for a phonemic awareness activity.

Today’s post by Sarah at RLAC features different ideas for how to make the blending drill more lively! Please visit her post here.