School Tools for Success
School Tools for Success
Back to school means new clothes to address that summer growth spurt, changing seasons, and a fresh start. It also means easing into a new routine, academics and yes, that dreaded word: homework. For students with special needs, transitioning back into a school routine can be challenging.
To help you and your child have a successful school year, we have put together a list of school tool apps that we hope will make this year the best yet!
App suggestions include having fun planning school lunches (yes, picky eaters we mean YOU), working confidently in a no pressure, self-paced math curriculum, and supporting struggling readers.
by Rodrigo Neri
myHomework Student Planner is a tool for helping students organize their classes, homework and daily routine. This app is great for students with dyslexia, auditory processing problems, ADD and dyscalculia. Customizing the app is easy. Users simply enter their class details into the calendar. Adding homework descriptions is quick and simple with the tap of a button. Users set the due dates, time and identify high, medium or low priority. They can also set up reminders. When you sign up for a myHomework account it syncs your data across all devices making it easy to login from anywhere and access assignments.
LaLa Lunchbox-Fun lunch planning for parents and kids
by LaLa Lunchbox, LLC
LaLa Lunchbox LLC is a fun meal-planning app that can be helpful for families, especially those with picky eaters…sound familiar? LaLa Lunchbox is ideal for children ages preschool and up, has multi-user functionality, and allows each family member to create his or her own account and “monster” avatar. Each lunchbox contains multiple food options that can be selected by accessing one of four lunchboxes: fruits, vegetables, proteins and snacks. All selected foods are then compiled into a grocery list, which can be synced with any mobile device to make grocery shopping quick and easy. Children who are picky eaters will especially enjoy being involved in the meal-planning process and are more likely to eat foods that they have selected themselves. Parents can easily manage food lists in each category by deleting foods or adding foods that are not in the default list by taking pictures of household favorites. This ability to customize a food list is particularly useful for families with food allergies or special dietary needs. All foods in this app are represented pictorially, which is helpful for early-readers and non-readers. Additionally, LaLa Lunchbox can help those families with nonverbal members who may have difficulty communicating their meal preferences.
by AMZN Mobile LLC
The Kindle app provides many learning opportunities for students with special needs including visual formatting, text-to-speech, organization and a dictionary feature. The Kindle iOS app has recently been enhanced for the blind and visually impaired. Users can now hear many books read aloud and use features like Zoom and AssistiveTouch to more easily see and navigate text. Kindle’s text-to-speech audio function can help address the challenges of ELL students as well as those who struggle with reading fluency. A helpful suggestion for these students is to allow them to choose a font size and color to meet their needs. For students who have difficulty flipping pages or holding open books, the Kindle provides a convenient alternative of pushing a button to flip through pages and chapters.
Todo Math – Complete Curriculum for Kindergarten and Beyond
by Locomotive Labs
Todo Math offers 18 multi-level engaging games and curriculum-based activities to help your child practice and master foundational math skills. It is designed for kindergarten through 2nd grade and engages different types of learners with multi-sensory options for learning math concepts. It also has settings for left-handed kids and those with dyslexia and has amazing data tracking built in to help parents monitor where kids are struggling and doing well.
MyScript Calculator is a powerful tool for helping students who struggle with functional math concepts, such as the four basic operations to more sophisticated concepts like square roots and exponents. Users write a number on the clear slate with their ﬁnger or stylus and the number instantly appears in digital format. This app works like a calculator, but encourages students to write either numbers and/or calculations by hand and then the answer is given. If your child has been identiﬁed with Dyscalculia, this is a great way for them to work independently. The app comes with a tutorial, the option for automatic calculation, decimal places, approximation, palm rejection and lefthanded.
About My Day
by University of Victoria
About My Day is a free app designed for tracking the daily events of individuals with intellectual disabilities or developmental delays. The app is customized to the individual, with a daily calendar, notes of the day (i.e. John ﬁnished all of his lunch independently” or “Beth was feeling a bit sad today”), the ability to upload a picture of the author within the notes section, location upload, and note saving. The app also includes mood tracking within the notes, which can be helpful for behavior and social skills tracking.
by Nessy Learning
Limited Dyslexia Quest was developed to support learners with learning disabilities and dyslexia. The easy to use app will take your child on a journey that helps pinpoint their skill levels in visual memory, phonological awareness, auditory and sequential memory, visual sequential memory, processing speed and working memory in order to determine areas which may need additional intervention and build reading levels. It can be used as an ongoing progress monitoring tool to assess areas of improvement in reading skills and has been used with special education students with reading disabilities/Dyslexia, at-risk students in reading and Section 504 Dyslexia students.
If you are interested in searching for more apps, creating your own list of apps and sharing them, please go to BridgingApps.org. BridgingApps, a program of Easter Seals Greater Houston, is a community of parents, therapists, doctors, and teachers who share information about using mobile devices (iPad, iPhone, and Android) with people who have special needs.
Cristen Reat is co-founder of BridgingApps and a mother who found success when using a mobile device with her children who have special needs.
Images Courtesy Facebook Friends
- 7 Apps for Students with Special Needs Back to School Success!
- Back to School App Favorites
- IEP Tools at Your Fingertips
- App Tools for Back to School Success
- Handy School Tools Parents Will Love
- Tech Tools for family holiday cooking
- Break It Down Tech Tools for Task Analysis
- Keep It Simple Apps For Organization
Click here for more apps
This post originally appeared on our September/October 2014 Magazine