Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Lively Letters {app review}

A few years ago, I heard a presentation at MSHA (Missouri Speech-Language Hearing Association) on Lively Letters.  It started out as a set of cards, and now they have expanded to an app!

What is it? 
Lively Letters is an innovative program created by an ASHA certified SLP that takes the letters of the alphabet and gives them each a character.  The whole program is based on multi-sensory ways of learning phonemic awareness.  There are images, hand/body cues, kinesthetic cues, mnemonic stories, and songs to go with each character.  Pretty cool, right?  You can find out more about the program and cards here.  You can download free samples from them as well. 

Image: Reading with TLC

Who is it for?
Lively Letters is great for children with speech and language disorders, reading difficulties, dyslexia,  and memory weaknesses.  It is also great for children learning English as a second language.  The targeted grades are preschool through 2nd grade. 

The App
The new Lively Letters app uses the same cards and stories in three activities!  Like the cards, the app also incorporates multi-sensory learning opportunities.

To start, select the student from the list or enter a new student.  Under each student, you will be able to view their progress. 

For every activity, you may choose the letter type--plain versus Lively and uppercase versus lowercase.  You also may choose which specific letters you want to target. 

The student may choose a theme for the background. 

The first activity is Flashing.  The Flashing activity is great for teaching the letters and sounds as well as practicing them. 

Click on the book icon to her the story read in English or Spanish.  Click the music note icon to hear the song.  Click on the lips icon to see a picture of a person making the sound with the hand cues.  Click on the pencil icon to have the student write the letter.  Click on the ear icon to hear the sound made.  

The second activity is Tracking.  In this activity, students will practice blending, segmenting, and manipulating sounds.  They can read words that the SLP gives them or they can spell a given word.  They can also play the "Alien versus Human" game.  Click on the alien if it is a nonsense word or click on the human if it's a real word.   Click on the pencil icon to trace the letters.  

The last activity is Matching.  This game is the traditional memory game, and it gives students another way to practice their letter/sound associations.  It allows students to match all combinations of Lively letters to plain letters and uppercase to lowercase for maximal generalization.  

You can track the progress for each activity: 

In summary, Lively Letters is a great research-based program created by an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist to target phonemic awareness.  It makes blending, segmenting, and manipulating letters/sounds fun! The app has three fun and easy activities to supplement the program (or stand alone).  My clients have really enjoyed the fun stories and songs that correspond with the letters.  They keep asking to use it again and again and have even asked their parents to purchase it for them!

If you are interested in purchasing this app, it is typically available in the App Store for $24.99 at the time of this review.  BUT, through March 12, 2018, the app is $5 off, so you can get it for $19.99. An affiliate link is below for your convenience.  

Note: A copy of this app was provided for my review. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are mine. 


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