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Early Learning Educational and Play Activities for: Math

What is Early Math?

“The term “early math” refers to a broad range of basic concepts such as counting (1, 2, 3); quantity (more, fewer); shapes (circles, squares, triangles); spatial relations (over, under); measurement (tall, short; bigger, smaller); and patterns (red, blue, red, blue). Because children are naturally curious, they explore these concepts as they interact with their environment. Infants begin to learn math before they can sit up. They notice differences in quantity, they compare the shape and size of objects, and they use early math concepts when they play and in other aspects of their daily lives. https://www.edimpactlab.com/api/sitecore/MediaLibrary/ActualDownload?fileId=%7B3360C48F-576D-44A8-AB63-EA259BABC359%7D&fileName=Developing%20Math%20Skills%20Early%20Childhood.pdf&fileData=Developing%20Math%20Skills%20Early%20Childhood.pdf%20-%20%7B3360C48F-576D-44A8-AB63-EA259BABC359%7D&fileMime=application%2Fpdf
 

Why is Early Math Important?

Math is an important part of learning for children in the early years because it provides vital life skills. Math helps children to develop the ability to think critically and solve problems. Both are integral to success in school and in life. “Research suggests early math skills are a better predictor of academic success than early reading skills. The more math-oriented activities kids do before kindergarten, the better they’ll understand math in school. Early math skills foretell higher aptitude in high school math and higher rates of college enrollment. Math is the language of logic…Math builds reasoning, which leads to comprehension. Developing a mentally organized way of thinking is critical. To make that happen we need to provide high-quality math education at an early age.” https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/early-math-equals-future-success/.
 

Activities to Foster Development of Early Math Skills:

 

Bluebee Pals:                                                                  

Bluebee Pals are a great tool to use when teaching and reinforcing math skills. Use one-on-one or invite a Bluebee Pal into peer groups to practice skills. Paired with reading, storybooks and math apps, Bluebee Pals offer children a special learning friend who makes educational skills practice fun…and therefore, more meaningful. By “speaking and singing” the audio in connected apps, a Bluebee Pal adds just the right touch of warmth and humanity to motivate children. Just connect your Bluebee Pal and get started! Reading books, telling stories, and using “math talk” are easy, effective ways to integrate and promote the development of early math and early literacy skills. Using children’s book and math apps provide many ways to teach and reinforce foundational math skills. https://www.bluebeepals.com
Book App Examples:
Moo Baa La,La,La by Sandra Boynton https://apps.apple.com/us/app/moo-baa-la-la-la-sandra-boynton/id431302275 enables counting of animals on each page and comparisons of relative size (big and small animals).
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown https://apps.apple.com/us/app/goodnight-moon-a-classic-bedtime-storybook/id546560960 provides opportunities to count items on each page and learn about spatial relations such as over and under.
Five Little Monkeys by LoeschWare https://apps.apple.com/us/app/five-little-monkeys/id313094173 builds counting and math skills, color recognition and opposites.
Math App Examples:
MathElmo Loves 123s-Has songs, videos, games and activities about numbers and counting. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/elmo-loves-123s/id581585669
Bugs and Buttons by Little Bit Studio, LLC-Includes counting, sorting, critical thinking, patterns, memory, and more. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/bugs-and-buttons/id446031868.
Kahn Academy Kids featured thousands of educational activities, books, songs and games across multiple subject areas for ages 2-6 and is always FREE. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/khan-academy-kids/id1378467217
 
 

Math Games and Activities:          

A great way to “mathematize” children is to use math in the routines of daily life, either as games or as entertaining ways to solve problems. “Make math fun! “Young children work very hard when they’re playing. Play is the perfect learning environment.”https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/early-math-equals-future-success/
  • Use puzzles, building blocks for stacking and manipulating, board games, and card games. Chutes and Ladders, Pop the Pig, Hi Ho Cherry-O and Candyland are great beginning games. Games with dice and number spinners reinforce counting.
  • Use shape-sorters. Talk about each shape—count the sides, describe the colors.
  • Count and sort. Gather together a basket of small toys, shells, pebbles or buttons. Count them and sort them based on size, color, or what they do (i.e., all the cars in one pile, all the animals in another).
  • What size is it? Notice the sizes of objects in the world around you: That pink pocketbook is the biggest. The blue pocketbook is the smallest. Ask your child to think about his own size relative to other objects (“Do you fit under the table? Under the chair?”).
  • You’re cookin’ now! Even young children can help fill, stir, and pour. Through these activities, children learn, quite naturally, to count, measure, add, and estimate.
  • Sing songs that rhyme, repeat, or have numbers in them. Songs reinforce patterns (which is a math skill as well). They also are fun ways to practice language and foster social skills like cooperation.
  • Use a calendar to talk about the date, the day of the week, and the weather. Calendars reinforce counting, sequences, and patterns.
  • The long and the short of it. Cut a few (3–5) pieces of ribbon, yarn or paper in different lengths. Talk about ideas like long and short. With your child, put in order of longest to shortest.
  • Pattern play. Have fun with patterns by letting children arrange dry macaroni, chunky beads, different types of dry cereal, or pieces of paper in different patterns or designs.
  • Graphing games. As your child nears three and beyond, make a chart where your child can put a sticker each time it rains or each time it is sunny. At the end of a week, you can estimate together which column has more or less stickers, and count how many to be sure. (https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/299-help-your-child-develop-early-math-skills).

 

Engaging Little Learners in BIG Ways!



Technology and media are educational tools that are effective only when used appropriately. A joint statement issued by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College indicates that technology and interactive media are here to stay. “Young children live in a world of interactive media. They are growing up at ease with digital devices that are rapidly becoming the tools of the culture at home, at school, at work, and in the community. When used wisely, technology and media can support learning and relationships. Enjoyable and engaging shared experiences that optimize the potential for children’s learning and development can support children’s relationships both with adults and their peers. There has never been a more important time to apply principles of development and learning when considering the use of cutting-edge technologies and new media. When the integration of technology and interactive media in early childhood programs is built upon solid developmental foundations, and early childhood professionals are aware of both the challenges and the opportunities, educators are positioned to improve program quality by intentionally leveraging the potential of technology and media for the benefit of every child”.

What Does Effective Use of Early Childhood Technology Look Like?

  • It has a point and is intentional. Early childhood educators should be informed and selective when choosing technology to be implemented within their program, taking into consideration child development and effective practices. As educators strive to be intentional with technology implementation, the question needs to be asked, “Can the learning goals be achieved more easily using traditional classroom materials or does use of a particular technology extend learning and development in ways not possible otherwise?”
  • It is interactive, engaging, and empowering. Technology implementation in early childhood doesn’t mean plopping kids down in front of a computer to zone out for long periods of time. In fact, early childhood educators should avoid passive non-interactive technology. Instead, by putting interactive and engaging technology in the hands of children and their educators, we are empowering them and giving them exciting new opportunities to learn from the world around them.
  • It is a piece of the complete overall learning experience. Developmentally appropriate technology should be only a piece of the overall learning experience and should not replace excellent traditional activities. Children use their senses to learn about the world around them, and they learn in a multitude of styles. Interactive and engaging technology can reach kinesthetic, auditory and visual learners simultaneously and can enrich the overall learning experience.

Educational technology tools that can engage little learners in a BIG way:

Bluebee PalPro4.0 is an interactive plush learning tool with a FREE companion (life skills /educational) app that connects to all iOS and Android Devices and pairs with all apps with a narrative. The patented technology allows Bluebee’s “mouth and head” to move while reading stories, teaching through educational games, communicating through speech/AAC apps, learning a language and singing songs. The Bluebee Pals Learning App is a robust life skill and cognitive development tool for children ages 3 to 7. When connected to a Bluebee Pal, children can immerse themselves in activities in five life skills rooms and play 9 educational mini-games. In addition to their app, Bluebee Pals pair with all apps with a narrative providing endless entertainment and education for all mainstream and special needs children.
  • Bluebee is compatible with all apps with a narrative.
  • Bluebee inspires learning with educational apps.
  • Bluebee reads any storybook apps.
  • Bluebee teaches with language and AAC (alternative augmentative communication).
  • Bluebee sings with your favorite music apps.
  • Bluebee acts as an educational tool with voice recording apps.
Learning Resources Programmable Mouse STEM Activity Set brings the “hour of code” to life with this amazing programmable robot. Guide the mouse through a fully customizable maze with step by step programming. Connect the maze tiles to build an activity board. Ages 4+.
  • This coding set for kids turns coding into a hands-on analog activity for tactile and visual learners
  • As kids learn to program they build key skills that include critical thinking, problem solving, sequencing, and programming fundamentals.

 

  • Colby the Mouse lights-up, makes sounds, and features 2 speeds along with colorful buttons to match coding activity cards for easy programming and sequencing.
  • This coding set includes 16 maze grids, 22 maze walls, 3 tunnels, 30 double-sided coding cards, 10 double-sided activity cards, cheese wedge, and activity guide to provide a hands-on introduction to coding concepts.
  • A great hands-on tool to keep young children actively engaged in learning about coding.

 

 

Square Panda Phonics Multisensory Sight, Touch, and Sound Playset for Kids Learning to Read:
  • The Square Panda playset helps children ages 2-8 learn to read through fun games grounded in research and uses a multisensory approach, combining sight, touch and sound in each play experience.
  • The system includes a playset, which doubles as a storage tray, 45 smart letters and access to a library of 11 free learning games. The playset works in tandem with your own tablet.
  • Square Panda provides access to a customizable database that stores children’s words, pictures, milestones and learning progress.
  • Learning games are available free to download on the App Store and Google Play Store and include Letter Lab, Square Land, Bowling, Jiggity Jamble, Bubbles, Space Cows, Fishing, Letter Lullaby, Farming, Lagoon, and Monster Rhymes.
  • Targeted concepts include learning the alphabet, learning letter sounds, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, word construction, reading fluency, rhyming words, word families, and more.
  • There are Home and Educator Editions available.
Osmois a unique educational gaming accessory that opens up your tablet to the infinite possibilities of physical play. Osmo’s advanced reflective technology bridges the real and digital realms. Osmo’s games are geared toward embodied learning, meaning the games teach abstract concepts by connecting them to objects and actions in the physical world.
Osmo offers games and apps for a wide range of academic subjects, including:

 

  • Coding (Coding Awbie, Coding Jam, Coding Duo)
  • Math (Numbers, Pizza Co.)
  • Drawing (Monster, Super Studio, Masterpiece)
  • Spelling (Words)
  • Fundamentals of Physics (Newton)
  • Spatial relational skills (Tangram)
  • World geography (Detective Agency)
  • Pre-reading, storytelling, fine motor (Little Genius Starter Kit)
In addition to teaching traditional subject matter, Osmo games foster social-emotional skills like problem-solving, creativity and perseverance.
Osmo games are designed for ages 3–12, according to game.
Wonder Workshop provides a fun way for children to learn fundamental coding skills through robotics with a family of award-winning robots and age-appropriate apps, which encourage hands-on play and learning to develop creativity, problem-solving skills and imagination. Their tailored activities promote STEM learning with personable robots (Dash, Dot, and Cue), accessories, and free software for your mobile devices designed specifically for kids ages 6+. There is a growing library of in-app puzzles, standards-based lesson plans, and annual robotics challenges. They offer professional learning opportunities that encourage a meaningful shift towards establishing a foundation for 21st-century learning.
Learning Resources Programmable Mouse STEM Activity Set brings the “hour of code” to life with this amazing programmable robot. Guide the mouse through a fully customizable maze with step by step programming. Connect the maze tiles to build an activity board. Ages 4+.
  • This coding set for kids turns coding into a hands-on analog activity for tactile and visual learners
  • As kids learn to program they build key skills that include critical thinking, problem solving, sequencing, and programming fundamentals.

 

  • Colby the Mouse lights-up, makes sounds, and features 2 speeds along with colorful buttons to match coding activity cards for easy programming and sequencing.
  • This coding set includes 16 maze grids, 22 maze walls, 3 tunnels, 30 double-sided coding cards, 10 double-sided activity cards, cheese wedge, and activity guide to provide a hands-on introduction to coding concepts.
  • A great hands-on tool to keep young children actively engaged in learning about coding.

Holiday Books, Apps and Activities

The Holidays are a great time to foster reading, comprehension, problem solving, social-emotional and language skills! It’s even more fun and engaging when you play with Bluebee Pal friends! Here are a few holiday books and activities to check out.

 

Thanksgiving

The Turkey Who Forgot How To Gobble-Joey the Turkey is sad. He has forgotten how to gobble and needs help from his friends. Kids will gobble up this funny story about Joey’s barnyard friends: Ruby the Rooster, Patrick the Dog, Minnie-moo the Cow, Wiskers the Cat and Gillie the Turkey and their hilarious ways they try to teach Joey how to gobble. This read along interactive storybook is a great way to teach children the value of friendship and how friends will be there when you need them. A fun and entertaining way to practice animal sounds with kids.
Turkey Trouble: Turkey is in trouble. Bad trouble. The kind of trouble where it’s almost Thanksgiving . . . and you’re the main course. But Turkey has an idea–what if he doesn’t look like a turkey? What if he looks like another animal instead? After many hilarious attempts, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise to make this Thanksgiving the best ever! Great for problem-solving!
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: Join Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang for a very unique Thanksgiving dinner. Kick the football with Charlie Brown, prepare the meal with Master Chef Snoopy, and set the table with Woodstock as the gang discovers the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Just So Thankful Little Critter:Little Critter learns what to be thankful for in this delightful interactive book app. There’s a new kid in town who has everything Little Critter wants… but he soon realizes he has something money can’t buy-a family who loves and adores him. Personalize the story with your own narration.
Hidden Objects Thanksgiving Fall Harvest Puzzle: (An autumn-themed I Spy game). Fun for attention, problem-solving, vocabulary, thinking and reasoning skills.https://apps.apple.com/us/app/hidden-objects-thanksgiving-fall-harvest-puzzle/id1165529477
Hand Turkey Thanksgiving: Create and decorate your own hand turkey

 

Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Peanuts gang find the true meaning of Christmas. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/a-charlie-brown-christmas/id476508724
Reading Train Christmas Books, Songs & Games: Listen, read and record 10 fun Christmas books at 3 easy reading levels…30 books in all. Sing along with 5 Christmas songbooks and 18 more favorite children’s songs. Beautiful storybooks and games to support foundational reading.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: This classic tale comes to life with playful interactivity, delightful animations, and fun activities. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/how-the-grinch-stole-christmas/id1016686482
The Night Before Christmas: A beautifully narrated story.
Sago Mini Snow Day: Prepare for lots of thinking, reasoning and creative play with fun mini-games while sledding, snowman making, tree decorating, and hot chocolate!https://apps.apple.com/us/app/sago-mini-snow-day/id1303744204
Hidden Objects Fun: Christmas Edition: Find a series of objects in a scene (similar to “I Spy”). Fun for attention, problem-solving, vocabulary, thinking and reasoning skills. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/hidden-objects-fun-christmas-edition/id1064886730
Melted Bead Ornaments Craft:
Christmas Tree Fingerprint Lights Craft:

The Bluebee Pal Program and Early Childhood Classrooms

What is a Bluebee Pal?

The Bluebee Pal Pro 4.0 is an interactive plush learning tool that connects via Bluetooth to all iOS and Android devices and pairs with all apps with a narrative, which provides endless educational opportunities and entertainment for both mainstream and special needs children in early childhood classrooms. The patented technology allows Bluebee’s “mouth and head” to realistically move while teaching curriculum through educational games, activities, and apps.

Due to their endearing, universal appeal, Bluebee Pals and The Bluebee Pal Program, Bluebee app, Techie Rangers E-book and free Activity Guide are uniquely suited for use with early intervention and elementary-aged students. They are easy to incorporate into early childhood curriculum standards, and they capture and maintain student interest while making learning fun and memorable.

  • Bluebee is compatible with ALL apps with a narrative.
  • Bluebee inspires learning with educational apps.
  • Bluebee reads any storybook apps.
  • Bluebee is compatible with text-to-speech apps.
  • Bluebee comes with a FREE companion (life skills /educational) app. https://www.bluebeepals.com/bluebee-pals-app/
  • Bluebee teaches language and AAC (alternative augmentative communication).
  • Bluebee sings with your favorite music apps.
  • Bluebee acts as an educational tool with voice recording apps.
  • With Bluebee, children become immediately more engaged and attentive, and eagerly look forward to focused learning opportunities!

What is the Bluebee Pal Program?

The Bluebee Pal Program is a free curriculum aligned with Common Core State Standards. The curriculum consists of lesson plans that have been created by a certified teacher who specializes in exceptional and early education. With these easy to use lesson plans, teachers are given step-by-step instructions on how to teach standards to their students while engaging with Bluebee Pals.

Our free curriculum use vetted applications and internet resources to teach:

  • Reading
  • Group Reading
  • Reading Non-Fiction
  • Science and Listening
  • Writing
  • Mathematics     
  • Phonics
  • Social Emotional Skills
  • Writing a Book Report
  • Writing Poetry
  • ESL (English as a Second Language)
  • Language Development
The lessons focus on PreK and Elementary Education Common Core State Standards in Literature, Informational Text, Foundational Skills, Language and Geometry. The lesson plans clearly outline needed supplies, links to applications and internet resources, teacher and student expectations, extension activities and differentiation for exceptional education.  
The Bluebee Pals Techie Rangers E-book (also available in paperback from Amazon) takes readers on an adventure with Andy and his Bluebee Pal Techie Ranger friends. Andy, a student with complex communication needs, uses an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device or “talker” to speak to the Techie Rangers as they help him return to the Rainbow School.
The accompanying free Activity Guide provides fun extension activities focused on literacy and math. Don’t forget to check out the Bluebee Pals Curriculum for a lesson plan made especially for the Bluebee Pals Techie Rangers E-Book and Activity Guide.
The free Bluebee Pal Learning App is a fully integrated life skills and cognitive development tool for children ages 3 to 8.
The app includes a Bluebee Pal House with 5 rooms targeting life skills, social/emotional skills and educational activities.

*The Bluebee Pals Curriculum, Bluebee Pal App, Bluebee Pals Techie Rangers E-Book and Activity Guide, app recommendations, numerous video tutorials, and extensive professional development resources are all available at http://bluebeepals.com

* Learn more how to implement Bluebee Pals in the classroom 
Bluebee Pals can be used 1-on-1, in small group or entire classroom settings.

 

Growth Mindset in Early Learners

“We all have beliefs about our own abilities and potential. These beliefs are part of our mindset which is so powerful it can fuel our behavior and predict our success. Mindset shapes our everyday lives, helping us interpret our experiences and future possibilities. In her research at Stanford University, Dr. Carol Dweck identified two different types of mindsets. Growth mindset occurs when we believe our intelligence and abilities can be improved upon with effort and the right strategies. In contrast, those with a fixed mindset believe their intelligence and abilities cannot be altered in a meaningful way.” https://biglifejournal.com/blogs/blog/teach-growth-mindset-kids-activities  
“You see, many students enter our classrooms believing they’re either smart or not smart, good at reading or math, or not good in those areas. This belief that our basic qualities like intelligence and talents can’t be changed is called a fixed mindset. Often our students figure: Why bother trying at something that’s hard for me? I’m not naturally good at it and I can’t really do anything about that.
Our students may not realize that their brains have the ability to change and grow through their experiences (neuroplasticity). Students need us to teach them that the human brain is like a muscle that can be trained through repetition and practice. When students realize this, they develop a growth mindset: the belief that abilities can be developed through commitment and hard work. And once they have a growth mindset, they can learn anything.” https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/routines-growth-mindset/

“For at least the last decade, educators have understood the powerful connection between mindset and achievement — that when students believe they can learn a given subject, even a hard one, they stick with it longer, and do better, than if they believe they can’t learn or are “just bad at it.” https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/17/03/growth-mindset-and-childrens-health
Simple ways to infuse growth mindset on a daily basis. These are regular practices that help you ensure students will:
  • Be willing to try new things
  • Stick with hard tasks and not give up
  • Push themselves to do their best work, not just what’s “good enough”
  • Believe in themselves and their own ability to learn  

Strategies for helping students develop a growth mindset

Introduce learning activities that are designed to benefit children’s brains.    

 

  1. When kids make mistakes, respond in casual ways that help them rebound.
  2. Get student input on creating helpful classroom displays that reinforce learning.
  3. Use specific feedback and helpful vocabulary that guides students to identify how they achieved success.
  4. Model growth mindset so kids can see it in action on a daily basis.
  5. Start formally teaching kids about growth mindset / neuroplasticity through books, apps, and other resources.
  6. Provide attainable challenges and set achievable mini-goals to encourage students’ consistent, incremental progress.
  7. Give opportunities to face obstacles and solve problems.
  8. Teach and model good attitudes.
  9. Teach how to accept constructive criticism.
  10. VIew failure as learning.
  11. Design classroom activities that involve cooperative, group learning –rather than competitive or individualistic.
  12. Celebrate successes and minimize failures.
  13. Provide opportunities to celebrate the success of others.
  14. Teach perseverance and the power of “YET”. Encourage students to not give up when things get hard and tell them that if they can’t do something now, it doesn’t mean they never will. Say “You can’t do this YET, but keep going!”When students succeed, praise their efforts and strategies as opposed to their intelligence. Help students focus on, prioritize, and value the process of learning.
  15. Model resilience and problem solving strategies.
  16. Give children opportunities to solve problems on their own when appropriate.
  17. Encourage children to ask a friend to help before seeking an adult’s assistance.
  18. Do not always try to fix things for your students. Give them the time to try – and fail – to fix their own challenges.
  19. Give children the time and space to use materials in their own way. This helps build confidence, independence and creative problem solving, which are all big parts of fostering that growth mindset.
  20. Make space for frustration. Talk about that emotion and how to deal with it. Help your students be motivated by frustration, not shut down by it.
  21. Praise effort authentically and specifically.
  22. Use diverse teaching strategies.
  23. Encourage active observation and interaction with the environment (wonder).
  24. Encourage question asking.
  25. Utilize Investigation and experimentation.
  26. Encourage student development of conclusions

Some Resources to Get You Started!

Whooo’s Reading: (K -8) This web app allows you to help students improve their writing based on personalized feedback. After answering a standards-aligned, open-ended question, the response is sent to you for grading. You can then score the answer and give the student feedback on how he/she can improve to get a higher score—score is tied to Wisdom Coins, giving students even more motivation to take a second swing at it.
Daily Goals: This app is perfect for setting and tracking student goals. Though it wasn’t created for use in the school setting, it has all the features of a motivating student goal tracker. Once signed up, students simply create their goal(s)—read something new every day, write one blog post a week—and then keep track of it with the app. With built-in analytics, students are able to determine what might be holding them back, assessing the process rather than just the outcome.
Growth Mindset Videos by Class Dojo   Awesome video library for mindsets, social, and emotional growth.
Typorama.Is an app that you can use to add words to a picture, which is perfect for creating encouragement posters to foster mind growth for your classroom.
Two of the best children’s books on growth mindsetare Your Fantastic Elastic Brain by Dr. JoAnn Deak and Making a Splash: A Growth Mindset Children’s Book by Carol E. Reiley.
Check out the free online brain songs provided by the University of Washington.
Growth mindset videos for teachers and students on YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/results?search_query=Growth+mindset
Bluebee Pals: Using Bluebee Pals during audible book and video learning activities helps to motivate and engage little learners! https://www.bluebeepals.com/

 

English as a Second Language (ESL) and Bluebee Pals

What is an English Language Learner (ELL)?
“English-language learners, or ELLs, are students who are unable to communicate fluently or learn effectively in English, who often come from non-English-speaking homes and backgrounds, and who typically require specialized or modified instruction in both the English language and in their academic courses. https://www.edglossary.org/english-language-learner/
According to fluentu.com, the goal of teaching ESL is to get ELL students proficient in English as quickly as possible to allow ELL students to be integrated into classrooms and social settings, and to be able to communicate effectively. ELL students must develop critical thinking skills and test-taking skills along with their English language skills. Specific objectives include improving skills in the areas of grammar, vocabulary development, listening, speaking, pronunciation, reading and writing. https://www.fluentu.com/blog/educator-english/what-is-ell/

Bluebee Pals can be excellent tools in teaching beginning ELL students! 

Bluebee Pals easily connect to apps via Bluetooth to make learning come to life!  Children become immediately more engaged and attentive!  With engagingly charming mouth and head movements, students will eagerly look forward to focused learning opportunities!
  • Bluebee is compatible with ALL apps with a narrative.
  • Bluebee is compatible with text-to-speech apps
  • Bluebee inspires learning with educational apps.
  • Bluebee reads any storybook apps
  • Bluebee sings with your favorite music apps.
  • Bluebee acts as an educational tool with voice recording apps.
  • https://www.bluebeepals.com/apps-bluebee-pals/

Let Bluebee be the Teacher!

Usages with Bluebee Pals and ELL students:

1. One on One and/or Group Circle Time : Use Bluebee connected to apps to teach students core curriculum concepts individually or in small groups. You can target comprehension, vocabulary, wh-questions, grammar, listening, speaking, sequencing, following directions, pronunciation, critical thinking, spelling and more!

Apps to get you started:
*Lingokids – English For Kids by Monkimun Inc. This wonderful app creates an individual English Learning Program for your student based on their language level and age. Their curriculum and graphics are beyond amazing. It focuses on language skills such as English pronunciation, vocabulary, ABCs, numbers, shapes, colors, animals, food, writing and more.
*The Wanderful Collection by Wanderful, Inc. Interactive storybooks are great for teaching word pronunciation, word recognition, and meaning. Check out these books athttps://apps.apple.com/us/app-bundle/the-wanderful-collection/id922408673
*BrainPOP ELL by BrainPOP® is a comprehensive English language learning program that uses animated movies to model conversational English. It offers leveled learning for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners. It targets listening, speaking, reading, and writing. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/brainpop-ell/id813671555.
*Endless Alphabet by Originator Inc. Endless Alphabet shows students how each word is spelled and provides a fun illustration of it’s definition. Then it shuffles the letters and challenges your student to put the word back together. What makes it even more awesome is that when the students pick up each letter to put it back on the right place, the letter makes its sound! ELL students get to review the sound of each letter, the spelling of each word and its definition through super entertaining and interactive illustrations!
*Fun English | Learn English by Studycat Limited This app covers all 4 language domains through fun games, stories and songs! New vocabulary is introduced in creative contexts to help students remember each meaning and is used in sentences to maximize their understanding. Lessons are divided into different categories that will allow your student to review different concepts and ideas.
*Learn English US for Beginners by Hector Gonzalez Linan teaches 500 vocabulary words in the areas of alphabet letters, numbers, colors, food, verbs, days of the week, animals, clothes, body parts, sports, and more.
2. Connect Bluebee to a Voice Recording:                                                                                                                      
*Voice Memos by Apple. Quickly and easily record vocabulary words for Bluebee to say and for students to practice repeating. Let your students record their words, sentences, or stories, too! Matching game: Record nouns for Bluebee and give students picture or word flashcards to choose the correct match for the word that was said. Use the recorder to have Bluebee give instructions or ask questions. Use the recorder to have students sequence or retell a story.
*My Story School eBook Maker by MY STORY, LLC. Create and share ebooks and movies using your own voice, drawings, stickers, and photos!
*Book Creator for iPad by Red Jumper Limited. Easily create your own books! Add music, narration, video, text! Share with family and friends.
3. Text-to-Speech: Interact in real time with your Bluebee Pal by typing in text for your Bluebee to speak! Ask and answer questions or carry-on a real life conversation! Make up your own stories or type in the text of books for your Bluebee Pal to read. Book discussions: Have Bluebee Read a book out loud. Then, using this app, type in questions for Bluebee to ask the students. Have Bluebee help practice vocabulary by typing in words or definitions, questions, or even tests for him to say aloud.
Talk For Me – Text to Speech by Darrin Altman

Good practices for teaching ELL students include:

*Provide explicit instruction
*Use teacher questioning and prompts that are consistent within the student’s stage(s) of language acquisition (see charts)
*Develop key vocabulary
*Utilize peer-to-peer interactions
*Provide lots of repetition
*Use multimedia and multiple modes of concept representation
*Engage in meaningful activities that allow learners to practice the academic language in authentic contexts.
*Use instructional methodologies that are active and focus on learning by doing and higher-level thinking processes
*Give time to process
*Use body language
*Check for comprehension
*Encourage collaboration with all teachers
*Engage parents

Sources and suggested websites:

 

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