eSkills Minimod Apps!

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This company has created numerous reading comprehension,
vocabulary, building, and language arts apps to support educators in a fun and
motivating way.  I was fortunate enough
to be provided with codes for the Context Clues and Reading for Inferences
apps.  However, the opinions are all
mine!

 

Context Clues

 

This app works on using context clues in a short story using
cloze sentences.  There are two
activities, you can practice the skill in a basic multiple choice and cloze
sentence format or you can play a game which is like BINGO.  As the student reads/listens to you read the
story, they will come across a “_____.”
For each blank, they will have 4 choices to choose which word would work
best in the blank.  If they are
incorrect, they are prompted to try again.
When they respond correctly, they can mark a spot on the BINGO
board.  They keep going with the story
until they get a BINGO.

 

There are three reading levels to choose from.  I have indicated the reading levels below
which are also provided on the app and on their website.

 

You can also set for “single user” or “multi-user”
mode.  For the multi-user, you can play
against other students if you have access to wifi or any other form of internet
access.  Unfortunately, in my classroom,
I do not have wifi access so I had to use single user mode.  The way I used this in a group, I read aloud
the story.  As I approached a blank, we
discussed it as a group: “what’s the main idea?”  “What clues do you see?”  “Look at all your choices and plug each one
in to see which makes the most sense.”
Then, each student got a turn to select an answer and mark the BINGO
board.
Practice Mode will allow you to decide how many questions:

 

Last, you can set up an email in which score reports can be
emailed.  Like I said earlier, this
feature is difficult for me since I do not have wifi but I was able to easily
note student success and progress since it was in a drill format.

 

Reading for Inferences:

 

This app also has a drill or practice mode and a game
mode.  The game is also like BINGO.  You can also set up the email to send score
reports and change the reading level settings.
You can also play single user or multi-use as well in this game.

 

For this app, the student is provided a short story (about a
paragraph or two).  Once they are done
reading/or listening to you read, they can press the continue button which
brings them to a question.  The questions
require the students to think about what they read, recall details, use
reasoning skills, and draw conclusions based on the story read or heard.

 

 

I felt it was important for me to help guide my students to
take notes to help them recall main ideas and details.  We used my dry erase board which I drew a
large graphic organizer.  This app was
difficult for my students to recall the overall message from the story without
assistance.  However, this is a skill
required of them in the academic classroom.

 

Overall, I think BOTH apps are GREAT!  They allowed me to work on curriculum based
skills but in a speech and language method that was fun and motivating.   Just taking the pencil/paper activity and
using technology was motivating enough!
They got to work together, which allowed cooperative learning and turn
taking skills.  I felt by creating a
learning environment that allowed them to be successful, they felt confident
and was successful working on these skills.
I definitely recommend this app to speech pathologists working with
older elementary and older students, teachers, resource room teachers, tutors,
and parents.  This is a great way to get
practice working on these skills that are so difficult for many students.  I will definitely be looking into purchasing
some more of their products since they are great for carryover of skills.

 

You can check out their website to learn more about the app
I reviewed and others at http://www.eskillslearning.net/products.php.   On their website, they also provide lesson
plan ideas for each app!  They break it
up into each reading level and include common core standards!  These are great if you have to write
rationales for why you are using these apps in your classroom!  They took the thinking out of it for
you!