The Every School Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) is a federal law that calls for a well-rounded (whole child) education and a shifting away from the narrow focus on academics. Under ESSA, teachers go beyond academics to cultivate positive student attitudes, values, and habits. Inter- and intra-personal (or, “social and emotional”) competencies include attitudes and behaviors that affect how students reflect on and apply their learning capacities and skills relative to managing relationships with others. These skills are sometimes referred to as 21st century skills, deeper learning, non-academic, non-cognitive, or soft skills.
“Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.“– The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).
What are Social and Emotional Skills?
According to CASEL, Social and emotional skills are the tools both children and adults use in social interactions and to manage every day emotional responses. Things like social awareness, setting goals, and taking responsibility for oneself are imperative to maintaining healthy relationships and practicing self-care.
CASEL’s widely used framework identifies five core competencies that can educate hearts, inspire minds, and help students navigate the world more effectively:
- Self-awareness: Know your strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a “growth mindset.”
- Self-management: Effectively manage stress, control impulses, and motivate yourself to set and achieve goals.
- Social awareness: Understand the perspectives of others and empathize with them, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
- Relationship skills: Communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.
- Responsible decision-making: Make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety, and social norms.
SEL programs improve students’ social-emotional skills, attitudes about self and others, connection to school, positive social behavior, and academic performance; they also reduce students’ conduct problems and emotional distress.
Bluebee Pals are excellent educational tools that can easily be incorporated in the classroom or at home to help model and build early social skills. Use one-on-one or invite a Bluebee Pal into social learning or peer groups to practice skills such as understanding and using appropriate emotions, sharing, turn-taking, asking and answering questions, making appropriate conversations, showing empathy, and more. Paired with educational apps, Bluebee Pals are perfectly suited to offer children a special learning friend who makes social skills practice fun…and therefore, more meaningful. By “speaking” 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! https://www.bluebeepals.com/tutorials/
￼Social /Emotional Suggested Apps :
Choiceworks by Bee Visual, LLC
Helps children complete daily routines, understand and control feelings, and improve waiting skills. Designed to help foster a child’s independence, positive behavior, and emotional regulation.
Following Directions by TSApps by Teach Speech Apps, LLC
Helps to develop the skills needed to boost memory, motor, and auditory processing skills with simple one step directions, two step complex commands, inclusion/exclusion, conditional and motor-skill based directions. Great for working on language, auditory processing, vocabulary, memory, receptive language, attention, and focus.
Autism Emotion by Model Me Kids, LLC
Uses music and photo slideshows to teach individuals about different emotions. Choose an emotion and swipe through photos of people expressing it.
Model Me Going Places 2 by Model Me Kids, LLC
A great visual teaching tool for helping your child learn to navigate challenging locations in the community.
Do It… Or Not? Social Skills for ASD Kids (SE) by Janine Toole
Helps children with autism understand and practice what to do and what not to do in real life social situations
Say It.. Or Not? Social Filter Skills: School Ed. by Janine Toole
Builds social filter skills for what is okay to say and what is not.
Let’s be Social PRO: Social Skills Development by Everyday Speech LLC.
Teaches communication skills and models personal interactions, navigating the community, appropriate school behavior, handling change, and social relationships. Includes ready to use lessons and videos and enables users to create their own social lessons.
10 Ways – a Social Skills Game by Everyday Speech LLC
Helps dig down deep into social communication skills including: conversation skills, perspective taking, asking and answering questions, friendship skills, and more.
Conversation Skills – Lite by Janine Toole
Helps practice key steps in conversation.
Social Skills With Billy by Virtual Speech Center Inc
Practice social and pragmatic skills in real-life situations and identify emotions.
Peppy Pals Social Skills by Peppy Pals AB
Teaches important social emotional skills such as self-esteem and kindness.
Social Quest by Smarty Ears
A social skills problem solving quest for older elementary, middle, and high school students.
Grab a Bluebee Pal and have fun exploring these FREE educational apps with your children. There are oodles and oodles of educational videos, shows, games, goodies and activities to explore. There is something for everyone! Take plenty of time to explore your favorite PBS shows, videos, and games in this HUGE collection of activities! These apps contain safe, educational videos, games, and TV.
PBS Kids Video- Watch all your favorite PBS Kids shows anytime, as well as live stream educational videos and shows to help your child learn and grow. There are new videos each week. Watch full episodes of Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Super Why, Curious George, Odd Squad, and more! For ages 3-8.
PBS KIDS Video by PBS KIDS
PBS Kids Games- There are over 100 free school games for ages 2 through 8 for discovery, exploration and learning. The games focus on science, math, reading, and creativity. There are mazes, puzzles, coloring, dress-up, and more activities. Learn ABCs, shapes, reading, and math skills.
PBS KIDS Games by PBS KIDS
PBS Kids Measure Up! Children ages 2-5 learn early math concepts focused on length, width, capacity and weight while watching instructional videos and playing in Treetop City, Magma Peak, and Crystal Caves. There are 19 measuring games and 10 measurement videos. Kids collect rewards for activity completion.
PBS KIDS Measure Up! by PBS KIDS
Play and Learn Science by PBS This is a suite of 15 educational kids games to develop experimentation and early science skills. Learn core scientific concepts while developing problem solving skills. Help the thirsty dog get some water, dress-up for the correct weather, find out which objects will float, and more. Great for preschool to kindergarten ages.
Play and Learn Science by PBS KIDS
The Cat in the Hat Builds That by PBS KIDS features 5 educational STEM games for preschool and kindergarten kids, focusing on key science concepts. Build bridges, explore friction with slides, sort objects, create musical instruments, mix colors, and more!
Personalized learning refers to efforts to tailor education to meet the different needs of students. It involves “instruction in which the pace of learning and the instructional approach are optimized for the needs of each learner. Learning objectives, instructional approaches, and instructional content (and its sequencing) may all vary based on learner needs. In addition, learning activities are meaningful and relevant to learners, driven by their interests, and often self-initiated” (The United States National Education Technology Plan 2017). To put it simply, personalized learning is a learning experience designed for each student with their specific needs in mind. Typically, technology is used to facilitate personalized learning environments. There are a multitude of resources available to address personalized learning.
Bluebee Pals are fun, motivating and engaging and can be easily integrated with any of the featured apps!
Here are a few App Recommendations:
Splash Math Grade K-5 Math Learning Games by StudyPad, Inc.
This math learning app features interactive content, personalized/adaptive learning, games, progress reports, a scratch pad for rough work and more. In the adaptive learning feature, topics start easy and build based on the user’s progress. Medium and hard levels are unlocked based on performance. For even more engagement, connect your Bluebee Palto narrate and provide feedback!
Bitsboard Flashcards & Games by Happy Moose Apps
This app offers a variety of learning tools and games in hundreds of topics. Users can learn a language, master vocabulary words, learn to read, improve spelling and more. It’s customizable and tracks answers so users can easily see what they’ve mastered so far and what they need to work on more. Bitsboard personalizes games based on the individual player’s skill and knows when the user is ready to move on to the next challenge. Bitsboard games are fun to play with Bluebee Pals!
Brain Pop Jr. https://jr.brainpop.com/
Ideal for students in kindergarten through 3rd grade, BrainPOP Jr. offers standards-aligned movies, quizzes, games, and activities covering Science, Reading & Writing, Math, Health, Social Studies, and Arts & Technology. It encourages young learners to ask questions and form their own ideas. All text is read aloud to facilitate comprehension.Bluebee Palsare great friends to help you work and learn!
Articulation Station Pro by Little Bee Speech
Articulation Station Pro provides students with the opportunity to record and listen to their own voices as they practice pronunciation of sounds and words in conjunction with a narrator who speaks them. Designed by a certified speech-language pathologist, the app lets students play with letter sounds through word games, sentences, and stories. Through these activities, students can build self-awareness, correct pronunciation and letter and word recognition. Activities can be tailored to meet individual student articulation needs. Your Bluebee Pal easily connects to the app and helps students listen and practice. Record student productions within the app and your Bluebee will speak in your students’ own voices. They will be captivated!
Explain EDU by Explain Everything
Explain Everything is an interactive whiteboard that allows you to instruct in real time through interactive learning and lets students demonstrate knowledge by becoming the teacher (the best way to know if you know something is to explain it to someone else). It is an excellent tool for creating and designing presentations, forcing students to articulate their understanding, and collaborating with their peers.
Educreations by Educreations, Inc
This is an interactive whiteboard and screencasting tool you can use to teach/explain any concept. Screencasts allow teachers to duplicate and provide each student with his or her own teacher-created personalized video lesson. Each student controls the lesson and can work independently. They can pause, rewind, and listen to their teacher again. Additionally, those who miss class no longer lack the instruction, instead receiving the same lesson presented to their classmates.
Seesaw: The Learning Journal by Seesaw Learning, Inc.
Seesaw is a student-driven, digital student portfolio that inspires students to take ownership of and do their best work. Students are able to express themselves and reflect on their learning. Teachers find or create activities to share with students. Students take pictures, draw, record videos and more to capture learning in a portfolio. Parents and teachers see their child’s work and leave comments and encouragement.
Nearpod by Nearpod
Nearpod is a classroom tool for teachers to engage students with interactive lessons & assessments that students can access on any device. Teachers control the lesson, pushing content to student devices, which students complete at their own pace. Nearpod increases student engagement with lessons that require their interaction. Use Nearpod to collect and deliver video, web content, images, slides, PDF’s and assessments to your students in an single, organized collection for the lesson.
ClassDojo by ClassDojo, Inc.
Students need personalized learning when it comes to classroom management in addition to instruction. Class Dojo provides teachers with a platform to track student behavior and assign positive and negative remarks. In addition, teachers can send instant messages to specific parents and share photos from the class. Students can choose their own avatar.
Google Classroom: A member of the Google Apps for Education suite of services that helps teachers create and organize assignments quickly, provide feedback efficiently, and easily communicate with their classes.
Try Adding To Circle Time!
Bluebee Pals are uniquely suited for use during group circle time reading practice! Children love reading buddies, and Bluebee Pals make awesomely perfect reading friends!
It’s easy to do without spending a lot of extra time! Just connect your Bluebee Pal via Bluetooth (Android or iOS) to your favorite storybook apps; make your own classroom books using a story creator app; carry-on a conversation, type in the text of your own book, or make up your own stories by using a text-to-speech app; or utilize narrated YouTube book videos! Here are some ideas to get you started. Have fun!
1. Book apps
Connect your Bluebee Pal to any of your storybook apps to make storytelling come to life! Your Bluebee Pal will “read” any story, with natural head and mouth movements! Children will become immediately more engaged and attentive! Pause the app at any time to discuss the book and ask questions with your students! Some book apps allow the user to record/retell the story with their own voice! Some of our favorite book apps:
Even Monsters Are Shy by Busy Bee Studio: Ben helps his new monster friend overcome his shyness.
Three Little Pigs vs The Wolf by Irene Deev: A classic fairy tale comes to life!
Oscar Goes to the Zoo with WordWinks and Retell, Record & Share by You Tell Me Stories Foundation: Oscar learns that there is nobody he would rather be than himself
2. Create your own stories!
My Story School eBook Makerby Bright Bot, Inc.: 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
Talk For Me – Text to Speech by Darrin Altman: Interact with your Bluebee Pal by typing in text for your Bluebee to speak! Ask and answer questions, carry-on a real time conversation! Make up your own stories or type in the text of books for your Bluebee Pal to read.
4. YouTube videos:
Do a simple search for your favorite book by name, or search for children’s read aloud books. Here are a few to get you started.
The Rainbow Fish https://youtu.be/QFORvXhub28
No, David! https://youtu.be/5XTb_Vi2VFU
Go Away Big Green Monster https://youtu.be/c5aBlzg0548
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle https://youtu.be/KbtBoNE3vRw
Do you want your child to be a better reader? A better writer? A better communicator? Experience increased academic success? Instill in them a love of reading at an early age! One of the early predictors of academic success in young children is the amount of reading they do.
As a Speech Language Pathologist, many parents ask me what they can do at home to help their children. My advice always includes daily reading. Based on experience, I highly recommend that parents use Bluebee Pals to help cultivate a lifelong love of reading and create a special bond with their children! I have used Bluebee Pals in my classroom as reading buddies for several years and I have seen the difference they can make in exciting children about reading and learning! You and your child can use Bluebee Pals as daily reading buddies with traditional books, or with book apps! A combination of both is an excellent way to spread reading enjoyment. Bluebee Pals, along with interactive digital books, make books come alive!
Reading with your child daily:
*Improves vocabulary and language skills
*Improves reading comprehension
*Boosts brain development
*Supports cognitive development
*Improves concentration and discipline
*Improves imagination and creativity.
*Exposes children to different experiences
*Prepares children for academic success
Some of our favorite book app collections:
9 Dr. Seuss Beginner Books by Oceanhouse Media
Nosy Crow Fairytales Bundle by Nosy Crow
Tips for reading with children of any age:
*Set aside daily time reading time. Find somewhere quiet without any distractions.
*Ask your child to choose a book and sit close together. Encourage your child to hold the book/tablet/Bluebee Pal themselves and/or turn the pages.
*Point to the pictures and encourage your child to talk about the book. Talking about the characters and their situations helps children understand relationships and is an excellent way for you to get to know each other or discuss difficult issues. Give your child plenty of response time. Ask them what will happen next, how a character might be feeling or how the book makes them feel. If there are illustrations, relate them to something your child knows. Ask them to describe the characters or situation or what will happen next. Encourage them to tell you the story by looking at the pictures.
*Above all else…make reading fun and enjoy the time together with your child!
Bluebee Pals June 2018
Helen has been integrating Bluebee Pals in her speech therapy classroom at school for the past 2 years. She and her students have enjoyed every minute of learning with them! Now, the new 4.0 Robotic Head Bluebee Pal Pro with free Bluebee Pal Educational/life Skill App has been introduced into her class and taken their educational fun to the next level! https://www.bluebeepals.com/store/
The Bluebee Pal Pro is a full-sized, friendly-faced plush animal that is remarkably soft, pliable, and sensory soothing for kids of all ages. There are plenty of friends to choose from: Monkey, Lamb, Lion, Zebra, Puppy, and Bear! The Bluebee Pals are special Bluetooth speaker enabled educational toys that can be connected to any Bluetooth device. Play any app and your new friend will “speak” and read any storybook app, sing with your favorite music, and you can even talk with them through your phone! The new Bluebee Pal Pro has a gentle, naturalistic head movement while speaking which makes them come to life! Remarkably, the Bluebees now come with their own fun, free companion app that is chock full of content! It leads you easily through the simple set-up with a tutorial video and provides tips and ideas for parents to use to engage their children in learning activities. The app has a fun voice recording feature, mini-games, activities, and a cool house to explore and interact with! There are even easy links to a resource section (for parents)!
Bluebee Pals can be used just for the fun of it or can be incorporated into highly engaging educational activities. Helen’s students absolutely love them, and their Bluebee friends are part of the school family! They use them for articulation and language and AAC therapy frequently and they are a “most requested” activity in our speech room!!!
Bluebee Pals Learning Companions: Who are these huggable interactive animals tech companions that provide parents an opportunity to re-enforce learning and social skills in home settings. These exciting NEW learning buddies with FREE Life/Skill Companion App are a wonderful holiday gift for any child ages 3-8.https://www.bluebeepals.com
Helen Wagner( Speech Therapist): I often use our classroom Bluebee Pals during therapy to work on reading, talking and playing skills! My students really relate to their Bluebee therapy friends, and look forward to learning with them! Teaching and learning begin at home. Parents are the first and most important teachers in the early, developmental years. Young children learn essential, foundational speech, receptive and expressive language, social, pre-reading, cognitive, numeracy and communication skills necessary for future academic success through meaningful play and lots of language-rich learning opportunities.
Read, Read, Read!
Read to your child daily. Reading helps develop vocabulary, attending, sentence construction, grammar, pronoun usage, social-skills, turn-taking, imagination, creativity, sequential thought, emotions, wh-questions, comprehension, receptive/expressive language skills, critical thinking and problem solving, and so much more! Reading daily to young children is one of the most language rich and meaningful learning opportunities that parents can give their children. Parents provide many natural educational interactions while reading, talking about the subject matter and elements of the story, questioning about the story, and practicing story retelling.
Talk, Talk, Talk!
Parents need to talk to their children! Talking and commenting on the world around them is a great, natural way to teach children. Examples: In the grocery store: “How many yellow fruits do you see? How many green vegetables? Let’s buy three red apples”. In the car: “Let’s see how many blue cars we can count” or “How many things can people ride in to go somewhere”? “Let’s look for things that are orange”. “Can you find a stop sign? What colors are in a traffic light”? At home during interactive play: “Oh, wow, I see that you are racing your red car and your blue car. Which one do you think will go faster”? Simple commenting and talking about what you and your child are doing and seeing and asking questions is a powerful educational tool. Commenting on the world around them will build and reinforce basic concepts, numeracy, turn-taking, pragmatic skills, receptive and expressive language, critical thinking and reasoning skills, problem-solving, grammar, and more.
Play, Play, Play!
Play with your children! Lots and lots of learning takes place during play! Play dolls, play trucks, play games, play marbles, play pretend! Provide opportunities for you preschoolers to interact with peers! Beginning games such as Candy Land, Spot It, Pop the Pig, I Spy, Zingo and more are great for practicing social skills, turn-taking, sharing, numbers, colors, matching and categorization skills. Playing and learning through songs and finger-plays such as “Itty Bitty Spider, 5 Little Ducks, etc, is a great way to teach rhyming, sequencing, memory and basic concept skills. Learning through play provides powerful opportunities for cognitive growth.
Bluebee Pals Jan 2018
Wow! A fresh, new year is here! I have some exciting new apps to share with you, straight from my Whether you are new to the wonderful world of Bluebee Pals, or a seasoned user, these apps are sure to delight!
Speech Tutor Educational by Synapse Apps, LLC: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/speech-tutor-educational/id1323272450?mt=8
Billed as an “All-In-One Speech Toolbox”, this app really rocks! Speech Tutor Educational is a complete, seamless combination of essential teaching tools for articulation therapy. It features two easy to use speech screeners: one for parents and one for therapists, 52 sound production/placement teaching videos along with sound production tips, and nearly 5,000 different articulation stimulus practice cards across 33 sound/phoneme decks, and 36 minimal pair decks.
The app can be set to use with individual students or with a group, and provides instantly available detailed data tracking. Students are provided practice with sounds in the initial, medial, final, or mixed positions in your choice of words, phrases or sentences. Students’ productions may be video recorded and stored for progress monitoring.
I really like that the screeners provide realistic, developmental norms for speech sound acquisition ages, which helps in counseling parents and in therapist planning. The app also features 2 types of screens, normal screen and kid friendly (cleaner page layout). The photographic stimulus cards are beautifully rendered!
This is a great app to use along with your Bluebee Pals, in that they can “help” your child practice the speech targets by saying the words and sentences before your child practices, which provides for added auditory bombardment! And even after a child practices and uses the recording feature, he/she can hear their productions via their Bluebee Pal! This just adds to the learner fun and engagement!
Little Stories Pro by Little Bee Speech: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/little-stories-pro/id1228283813?mt=8
Little Stories Pro for Speech, Language and Literacy is a set of 82 beautifully crafted and illustrated, 100 word stories developed to support receptive and expressive language, reading fluency, and phonemic awareness/sound production skills through the use of sound-saturated stories. Chock full of curriculum support, this app is filled to the brim with learning and literacy content through targeted story practice.
The app is so easy to use! Select a story, sorted by story title, theme, reading level, or phonemic target. Sounds emphasized in the stories are r, r blends, l, l blends, s, s blends, and th. There are three reading levels from ages 6.5 to 9.5. Before you read, you will be given a story synopsis, sight words, phonemic target words, and challenge words. As an option, you can choose to practice flash cards before you begin reading. The story can be read aloud to the child, or the child can read independently. A Reading Helper is available to select navigation buttons, provide for eye-tracking, choose an early reader format, and to select which words you would like in bold print. A feature is available if you want to measure reading fluency in words per minute. An assessment feature also allows you to mark a child’s reading, vocabulary and speech errors and turn them into practice flash cards for extra practice. Coloring pages from the stories and tongue twisters during the story just add to student engagement!
Following completion of the story, there are story comprehension activities, which include story retell, story sequencing, WH questions, and story talk conversational questions.
This app is best used side by side with your child. Bluebee Pals can easily be used with Little Stories Pro, either to read the pre-recorded story with your child, or to re-read the story in your child’s own voice! This is a great app to check out on the app store!
YUMI |Story Dice:https://itunes.apple.com/th/app/yumi-story-dice/id1225064701?mt=8
Story Dice is a fun app to encourage children to create their own, original, fun stories! By shaking their iPhone or iPad, children roll magical 3-D story dice! Then, they tap on each one to unlock the surprise
3-D toy inside! These toys can be dragged, enlarged, rotated and stacked in any order. You choose the order and a colorful setting, and then create your own story using the objects you have been randomly given. These stories can then be recorded and shared with family and friends! This is free-play at it’s best! Your child can be the “…author, director, and star of their own original stories, plays, and videos”!
This app is great for building expressive and receptive language skills, storytelling, sequencing, and thinking skills! And, best of all, it is fun to use along with a favorite Bluebee Pal, who can tell your story back to you!
Apps from Mrs. Wagner’s classroom November 2017
It’s November! Turkey time! Time for family get-togethers, traditions, history lessons, and remembering to be thankful! Here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving-themed apps. We love to pair them up with our favorite Bluebee Pals for maximum learning fun. Enjoy!
Turkey Forgot How To Gobble by Alexis H. Purcell
Oh no! Joey the turkey has forgotten how to gobble! His barnyard friends rooster, cat, dog, Minnie Moo and Gillie the turkey all join in to help him find his gobble! This is a cute interactive story about friendship, helping one another and perseverance. Great for learning and imitating animal sounds, same/different, wh-questions, and critical thinking skills. When you press an animal, it makes its own sound! Do you know the sounds each animal makes? Turn the pages on your own, so that you can talk about the story while you read. My preschoolers love this book app!
Just So Thankful – Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media
Little Critter learns about being thankful for what he has! There’s a new kid in town who seems to have everything, including the Super Streak scooter that Little Critter wants! But Little Critter soon discovers that he has something that money can’t buy…his loving family! This sweet story is great for teaching the value of family over possessions and has lots of vocabulary words to learn, too! One of our favorite features is the ability to record the story in your or your child’s own voice! Be sure to search for and find the hidden creatures in the book…can you find them all? Works beautifully with your Bluebee Pals!
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving – A Peanuts Interactive Classic for All Ages by Loud Crow Interactive Inc.
What would Thanksgiving be without this classic? Join Charlie Brown and all of the Peanuts gang as they get together for a feast! Kick a football with Charlie Brown (can he trust Lucy?), help Snoopy prepare the eats, set the table, and discover the meaning of Thanksgiving! Great fun for reading and discussion.
Hand Turkey Thanksgiving by Jay Ayres
This is a very simple but enjoyable little app for the younger ones. Press your hand on the screen to make your own turkey, then name it and decorate it! Great for cause and effect and following simple directions. You can draw and rake fall leaves and create your own turkey stampede!
The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks by Oceanhouse Media
The little bear family celebrates and acts out the story of the original Thanksgiving. Sister bear discovers something she is really thankful for. As always with this series, there is a moral to the story! Excellent to use for sequencing. Readers can read the book or record it in their own voice. A very sweet tale!
**I can not use this book in my public school due to its decidedly Christian perspective; however, I do love it and enjoy sharing it with friends and family!!!
Oh Boy! It’s October! My students and I are getting all geared up for plenty of good books and apps! Here are some of our favorites for this month! Grab your Bluebee Pal and try one out!
It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Loud Crow Interactive Inc
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/its-the-great-pumpkin-charlie-brown/id552498441?mt=8. Gather around with your Bluebee Friends and enjoy this classic Halloween tale, complete with the original narration! Create your own avatar and costume, and carve a pumpkin! All of your Peanuts friends are here to celebrate the big event! Will the Great Pumpkin make an appearance?This is a great book to read and discuss, retell, and practice sequencing!
Mystery Word Town – Sight Word Spelling by Artgig Studio
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mystery-word-town-sight-word-spelling/id983733111?mt=8 This is a fun app to practice spelling skills! Your goal is to find the gold and capture the outlaws in Word Town! Explore the buildings to complete spelling challenges. Featuring 3 levels of difficulty, you can use the included word lists, or create your own. You can even record your voice to use with your own words. This is an excellent way to easily practice spelling and vocabulary words. For use with single or multiple players. My kids have so much fun, they forget they are learning! You can play this game with your Bluebee Pal by your side!
Mystery Math Museum by Artgig Studio
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mystery-math-museum/id640754583?mt= This is an engaging app for practicing math skills while exploring 8 museums while helping a friendly ghost rescue dragonflies! Unlock rooms and passages as you practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills. Select the skills you want to work on by customizing the activities to suit your needs! Great for problem-solving and critical thinking skills!
Room on the Broom: Flying by Magic Light Pictures Ltd.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/room-on-the-broom-flying/id949494519?mt=8Take control of the friendly witch’s broom and fly across the sky! Collect stars along the way to see how high you can score! Pick up all of your friends, but watch out for the fire-breathing dragon! Catch letters to spell words! What fun!
Room on the Broom: Games by Magic Light Pictures Ltd.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/room-on-the-broom-games/id705107094?mt=8 There are 8 magical games to play to foster creativity and critical thinking skills, all while having fun! Collect medals while playing the games, which feature all of the wonderful characters from the book! You can fly from star to star making pictures in the sky, help the dragon eat his favorite food, help find things the friendly witch has dropped, and much, much more!
“Room on the Broom”
https://www.amazon.com/Room-Broom-Julia-Donaldson/dp/0142501123/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507780874&sr=8-1&keywords=room+on+the+broom .One of our favorite books to read in October is “Room on the Broom”. We complete language learning activities centered around the book. the book, from Amazon: “The witch and the cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch’s hat, then her bow, and then her wand! Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and they all return to ride on the broom. But is there room for so many friends? And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon?”After reading the book, I let my students play the companion games which are available in the iTunes App Store. There are 2 apps and we love to play both!
Summertime is over! Kids are back in school! Gather your Bluebee Pals and children and get ready to learn! Here are some favorite apps from our classroom to help you get back in the “groove”!
Zap Zap Kindergarten Math
This app features colorful intergalactic mini-math games targeting foundational math skills such as developing number sense, counting to 100, addition and subtraction to 20, making comparisons, shapes and measurements, 2 and 3-dimensional shapes, and more. It uses an adaptive learning function that challenges while adjusting the difficulty level of each game to meet learner needs. Children have so much fun flying their spaceship in outer space, earning jigsaw puzzle pieces, and unlocking new spaceships!
Hideout: Early Reading
Grab your favorite Bluebee Pal for this fun, interactive early reading app! Featuring 9 totally engaging mini-games, your child will practice blending sounds into words with the following phonics patterns: -AP, -OP, -IT, -ET, -EN, -AG, -UB, -IP, -OCK. Each pattern is presented with sound blending practice to make words, a fun mini-game, and a short read aloud using words from the game. Activities are lively and students love to play over and over. A great beginning app for struggling or beginning readers!
Avokiddo ABC Ride – Fun Alphabet and Spelling Games
ABC Ride is one of our favorites! Hop on your bike and go on an alphabet adventure! Ride to each letter of the alphabet for fun play in each of 26 activity scenes. Solve puzzles, find hidden letters, and practice spelling skills. You can ride to each letter scene in order, or choose to visit letters randomly. Jump and jiggle on the jelly for J, Cram the candy into Clyde, Bop the balloons to break them, or change Dotty’s dirty diaper (this one always elicits lots of giggles)! With your Bluebee Pal, learning the alphabet is fun! My students love the zany, interactive activities!
Goldilocks and the 3 Bears
I love teaching through books! Lots of my students lack exposure to some of the “classics”! This is the traditional story of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, with a twist. As you read the story, there are on-screen questions and comments to get your child thinking and to stimulate conversation, vocabulary, and language. The app also offers a read and record feature where your child can record themselves retelling the story! This is a fun app for language development, sequencing, and vocabulary. It is especially fun to read along with your favorite Bluebee Pal! My kids have a blast when their Bluebee Pal reads the story back to them in their own voice! You Tell Me Stories, Inc. offer lots of interactive books, check them out!
It’s back to school time! We have some new, enjoyable apps on our classroom iPad to share with you!
SPOTLIGHT APP: Lively Letters – Phonemic Awareness & Phonics by Telian-Cas Learning Concepts Inc
Lively Letters is an exciting new app developed to teach letter sounds. This app goes beyond traditional drill and practice, by actually teaching letter recognition using memory skills, hand and mouth cues, and songs associated with each letter.
Letters are taught through the use of colorful alphabet letters which have been individually embedded with memorable characters. There are three activities to choose from Flashing, Tracking, and Matching. In the flashing activity, a thorough explanation of how to produce each letter is provided, along with an associated hand/mouth cue, and a matching song for the letter. Each letter is represented by a character, and the story behind each letter provides visual memory cues to help remember the letter name. There is also a letter tracing task! In the flashing task, up to 10 consonants and vowels may be selected to work with. Students investigate letters to create both real and nonsense words. There is a letter tracing feature here also, along with space to draw a picture of a created word. In the matching task, students tap letters to make matches, while practicing producing the sounds they make.
The app tracks progress and allows for customization in choosing the type of letters to use (character letters vs plain letters), and background theme. A recording feature is provided so that the child can practice saying sounds and words. This app is a stand-alone companion to the Lively Letters program.
What a great little jewel to teach foundational sound-symbol association skills. Plus, you can connect your Bluebee Pal for extra fun during the sing-a-longs and sound production practice!
The Adventures of the Three Little Pigs by Irene Deev
My students love storybooks, and this one is a new favorite. This is the traditional tale of the little piggies’ encounters with the big ‘ole bad wolf, told with a modern twist. The story is interactive and, of course, has a happy ending. There are random interactive questions during the story that my students like to watch for. It is a winner when Bluebee reads to my kids!
Tiggly Chef Addition: Preschool Math Cooking Game by Tiggly
In our classroom, we love Tiggly! Learn early addition facts while you assist the Chef in following directions and counting out ingredients to create clever, outlandish dishes! Features 3 different kitchens with math skills progressing in difficulty. This app is lots of fun for learning beginning addition skills! This app can be used with or without the Tiggly Learning System manipulatives for iPad. My kids get s kick out of it!
Think & Learn Code-a-pillar™ by Fisher-Price
Computers are here to stay, and it is a great idea to start kids out learning the basic concepts of coding. In this app, children use thinking, problem solving, memory and math skills to help Code-a-pillar follow a path to navigate obstacles and complete a maze. The difficulty of play increases as you master each maze. Engaging, child-friendly graphics and great directions during gameplay make this a winner!
Boo Articulation Helper-Train Speech Sounds:
For the child who is having difficulty producing single consonant sounds, this is a fun, easy to use app that your young child will enjoy. Boo the frog will help you practice speech sounds, then help you practice them in the initial position of syllables. Select a sound, drag it into the sound box, and Boo will say it for you. As he says the sound, his mouth moves and shows the user how to make the sound using tongue and lips! You can play the sound fast or slow, and have Boo repeat multiple times for auditory bombardment and visualization. Now, Choose an ending vowel sound to create a syllable, and Boo will blend the sounds for you to practice. Your child can record and playback practices! For even more fun, pair your favorite Bluebee Pal with the app and he can be the teacher as he speaks for Boo!
Thinkrolls Logic and Physics Puzzles for Kids:
If you haven’t tried this app yet, your kids will be in for an A-“maze”-ing treat! It will keep them engaged for hours of play….and the best thing about it is that not only will they have fun playing, they will be building thinking, logic, memory, and problem-solving skills at the same time. The app features delightful characters who kids must maneuver through physics-based tasks to complete a puzzle maze. The completion of one maze leads to the next! If you make a wrong move, it’s easy to start the level over without losing your place! There are plenty of levels, and each one builds upon the next. Levels include cookies, crates, balloons, rocks, jellies, fire, and elevators. There are unlimited trials and no penalties during play. This app is totally 100% irresistible! My students love it! Plus, there is also a Thinkrolls 2. Your kids will want both!
Feed Me! (US English) – PencilBot School Pack by Edutainment Resources, Inc.
Feed Me offers lots and lots of fun comprehensive practice in basic preschool and kindergarten foundational skills! Featuring 34 concepts and over 40 skills, along with 600 questions, there is something for everyone! Players feed a cute little monster the food he is thinking of, and then watch him gobble it up! Practice math, letters and sounds, opposites, rhyming, feelings, animals and their homes, weather, healthy habits, colors and shapes, and more! Connect to your Bluebee Pal and he can make the gobbling sound! There are so many subjects to choose from and to explore. Plus, progress is tracked for you!
Grandma’s Beach Fun by Fairlady Media:
Nothing says summertime like a trip to the beach, either real or imagined! Join Grandma and take a summer adventure! Play 7 educational games! Beach Gear, Airplane Rhymes, Beach Art, Umbrella Matching, Coconut Math, Word Find Puzzle, and Tide Pool Critters! Waterski with Grandpa, create a fireworks show, and watch videos of beach wildlife and water sports! Enjoy lots of fast-paced fun while learning! Connect with your Bluebee Pal, who can play Grandma!
Yes / No Barn: Answering Yes No Questions by Smarty Ears-Yes/No Barn is a great app to help work on thinking and reasoning skills, and answering yes/no questions across a variety of contexts. Featuring over 300 questions in a colorful, attractive barn scene format, the app focuses on 6 question types: Basic Questions, Look and Answer, Fact-Based Questions, Variable Answers, Comparing Pictures, and Questions About a Scene.
You can track data across multiple users and question types. I love the simple, clean interface and my students love answering the questions when we connect to our Bluebee Pals! I love to set up our Bluebee Pals at my table as the “teacher “ while students sharpen listening and language skills. This app is also fun to use to work on recognizing absurdities, problem-solving, and generates lots of conversational interactions! Bluebee Pals really foster active engagement!
Many of my students have difficulty with listening, comprehending, and following directions! This is a basic skill needed for academic and life-long success. We use this app in speech therapy to work on these skills, and of course, our Bluebee Pals help us out by giving students the directives to follow!
Funny Directions provides 4 familiar environments/picture scenes, for interactive fun while working on listening and comprehension skills: Beach, Bedroom, Park, and Classroom. There are three difficulty levels on which to build listening skills. Children enjoy investigating colorful objects in each scene and talking about the funny directions they are given!
Animal Math Games for Kids in Pre-K, Kindergarten and 1st Grade Learning Numbers, Counting, Addition and Subtraction Premium by Eggroll Games LLC
Math Games, from Eggroll Games, offers fun math practice with correlation to kindergarten common core objectives ( they also offer similar apps for preschool, first and second-grade math skills- just pick your desired app for your child’s level). Featuring a farm setting, children have fun, colorful practice in building and maintaining math fluency skills. Activities include counting, number recognition, addition and subtraction up to 5, categories, and geometry. Students will count to 100, recognize shapes, compare numbers, and answer “how many”questions. My students and parents really enjoy the variety of math skills targeted. Graphics are colorful and the narration is excellent!
Word Wizard is a phonics-based spelling app that allows the user to build and practice words and hear them pronounced in English. It features a moveable alphabet where the user drags letters to a board to build words.
There are two ways to play:
Moveable Alphabet: This is an area of free play where the user can play with the alphabet letters and spell any desired word to hear it spoken. Tap on a letter to hear it’s sound. Drag letters to the spelling board to make words. Separate the letters in a word to hear the individual sounds in a word, then put them together to hear the whole word. Since this is a phonics based program, when the letters sh, th, ch are put together, the correct pronunciation for the diagraphs is spoken.
Spelling Quizzes: Included in the app are built-in spelling quizzes to practice CVC words, Dolch words, 1000 most frequently used words, numbers, colors, animals, body, clothes, family members, food, sports, nature, and shapes. While in this level, the user can click on an icon to hear the targeted word repeated, and can tap on a question mark icon to receive a spelling hint. Additionally, the user can easily customize his/her own words lists! Practice your own spelling words! The app will track progress by providing the number of words spelled with and without hints.
Let’s Expand Vocabulary: This is a wonderful app to use to target expressive language, vocabulary, categorization skills, thinking, reasoning, problem-solving, word retrieval, and wh questions! There are 4 levels of play-Odd One Out, Matching Pairs, Categorization, and Add Another. All of these games are focused on working on categorization skills.
You can add 2 fun games to the mix and you have a winner! We love to work on vocabulary skills using our Bluebee Pals, to foster engagement and interactive play. Our Bluebee Pal reads the category task aloud, and each student selects the appropriate answer.
Sound Salad: This app is a sound-association game designed to help your child attend to and discriminate various sounds we hear. It supports auditory perception, memory, sequencing, and critical thinking skills. From easy to more advanced listening tasks, this game enables students to listen for critical information.
My students love it when we use it with our Bluebee Pals! Our Bluebee Pal “says” the sound, and the students listen and respond by matching sounds to pictures.
Is That Silly? : This is a great app to use for practicing answering questions, logical thinking, expressive and receptive language, thought organization, listening for information, and recognizing absurdities.
The student is presented with a colorful picture scene and has to state whether the accompanying sentence describing the picture is Silly or Not Silly. Then, the picture is presented again for the student to tell what is or is not silly about the picture.
This is awesome for critical thinking and problem-solving skills, too! Using a Bluebee Pal to read the silly sentence, the student then responds by giving the answer. The interactivity with our Bluebee Pal makes the learning even more fun!
Listening Power Grades K-3 HD by Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Power Grades K-3 is one of our favorite apps to use with our Bluebee Pals in speech therapy! It is so much fun to work on language and listening skills with a Bluebee learning partner. There are 4 main areas of focus in this educational app: Listening for Meaning, Listening for Grammar, Listening for Word Memory, and Listening for Stories.
Select your difficulty level and get your listening ears ready. Your Bluebee Pal will read the questions out loud, and you will listen and select the correct answer! There are two games to play as a reward. The Door Game (Can you find what you are asked to look for?), and the Basketball Hoops game. The app even tracks progress and allows for multiple players across multiple difficulty levels. This is a great app for independent or small group work! Check it out!
Professor Pup’s Phoneme Farm by Colvard Learning, LLC. Professor Pup’s Phoneme Farm is a great place to visit to work on beginning phonemic awareness and phonics skills! Featuring fun, animated listening activities for identifying sounds at the beginning, middle, and end of words, this is a hit with my students!
The app also helps work on rhyming, sound blending, segmentation, sound manipulation, and deletion. I really like the engaging graphics, narrator, and option to select the specific skills you want to work on! This app tracks progress across multiple users. There are several interactive activities for each sound for lots of auditory bombardment. Bluebee Pals are perfect to pair with this app!
Jack and the Beanstalk by Nosy Crow …Just for fun. I like to introduce my students to classic fairy tales. This version of Jack and the Beanstalk is very engaging and has lots of interactivity with it to make the story come to life. It is a combination of story, game play, and exploration.
Students can collect keys to unlock different rooms in the castle and complete activities. You can wake up the giant in different places to make lots of different endings to the story. Fun to use for encouraging creativity and imagination and story retell skills. You can target lots and lots of receptive and expressive language with Jack’s story. Bluebee Pals add to the magic of the story!
In our speech therapy classroom, many of my students with language disorders have difficulty asking and answering Wh- questions in meaningful and grammatically correct ways. We work on Wh- questions in a variety of fun activities. One of our favorite apps to use is “WH Questions”, by Smarty Ears Apps. In this multi-user app, there are plenty of practice opportunities for Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How? questions.
There are 2 primary learning activities: Speak My Answers and Select My Answers. The user can select the question type(s) desired for each activity.
In Speak My Answers, the app reads the question aloud (this is where it gets really fun)! We use our Bluebee Pals, and they read the questions to us, just like in a real conversation! The Bluebee Pal asks the question, and the student replies, using the record feature. Then, when the recording of the student is played back, the student can hear his/her own productions (with the Bluebee Pal speaking in the student’s voice)! Performance data is even tracked if desired.
In Select My Answers, the app (Bluebee Pal) asks a question and three choices are given at the bottom of the screen for the student to pick from. My students absolutely love using their Bluebee Pals to help them work on Wh-questions! They are wonderful for increased engagement and participation!
In speech therapy, we work on language, vocabulary, story retelling, and comprehension skills. “The Little Red Hen with WordWinks and Retell, Record & Share”, by You Tell Me Stories App, Inc., is a fantastic book to use with Bluebee Pals to target language and communication skills! In this storybook app, students can listen to the story read aloud by their favorite Bluebee Pal, can read the story to their Bluebee Pal, and can sequence, retell and record the story for their Bluebee Pal to read back to them!
This app has a unique feature, called WordWinks that uses extra comments during the story to maximize comprehension skills. This helps students understand the vocabulary or thoughts used in the story, and stimulates conversation and critical thinking skills.
I LOVE using story books that have a “moral to the story” that supports character education skills. Bluebee Pals make the lessons even more entertaining, which leads to improved attending and engagement during class, and increased acquisition of learning objectives!
Wagner’s App Recommendations/Favorites: February 2017
Helen H. Wagner, M.S., CCC-SLP
In my classroom, we do lots of apps with our Bluebee Friends, to learn communication, language and academic skills. Learning with Bluebees is always entertaining, engaging, and fun!
In February, we celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday and we read lots of his classic stories with our Bluebee classroom friends. We use these books with lots of repetitive text to develop attending, listening comprehension, rhyming, sequencing, wh-questions and more! My students are always thrilled to read along with a Bluebee Pal! Dr. Seuss books are classic reads, great to elicit lots of conversation, emotions and opinions! Some of my students’ favorite Dr. Seuss storybook apps, from Oceanhouse Media, are:
Another app we have been having fun learning with is the Reading Train Learn to Read Books, Songs & Games from The Learning Station, LLC. This is a great app for beginning readers. Featuring three levels of play, there are storybooks and related games which help build phonics, vocabulary and reading skills.
I love that Bluebee Pals integrate very nicely with the Reading Train! Listen, read, and record books! We like to let our Bluebee Pal read a letter book to us, (like the D book), then we read it back to him, and then we record the books in our voices and our Bluebee Pal, in return, reads it to us in our own voices! What interactive fun! Teaches colors, numbers, shapes, life science, animals, letters and lots more!
For Valentine’s week, my preschoolers will be learning about Valentine’s Day and some of its’ traditions. Our Bluebee friends will be reading Biscuit’s Valentine’s Day, by iStoryTime. It is a simple, sweet story about passing out Valentines. We will work on Valentines’ vocabulary, asking and answering wh-questions, talk about sharing, loving our friends and family, and talk about making valentines (before we make our own valentines). The app also has a coloring book, sticker book, memory game and puzzle…great for cognitive skills development and early learning fun.