Sharp Curiosity vs Special Words / Special iApps
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Great for students!! This app is awesome for assisting students become independent readers. Initially I could not get the audio to work but I contacted the developer to help me figure out the issue. Seems the iPad has a glitch which MUTES some apps, even though the MUTE option is not selected. The way the app breaks down the words clearly showing the blends and digraphs enables students to learn not only the word but the sounds as well. The ability to download additional book titles makes it so that nearly every word my students come across is pronounced correctly in a realistic voice. Great filter for words which should not be said out loud!!! Kudos!!
ILS Lake County Schools
By demonstrating and explaining how the letters and sounds in a word fit together, Reading Machine aids readers in learning new words. When readers can't or don't want to ask someone else for clarification on difficult vocabulary, the app is ideal. Like a personal reading tutor, the app guides readers into figuring out a new word based on the word’s letters and sounds. While reading traditional books or other written materials, readers can use the app. They can utilize the app on the iPad in addition to e-books, webpages, and other digital content. The app works well for older readers who don't like to ask for clarification on vocabulary when they read independently and is a delightful complement to parent-child reading time. Any age group that is learning to read can boost their confidence as they learn new words independently with the help of the app. On www.sharpcuriosity.com, videos demonstrating how the app functions are accessible. The app's underlying lexicon is powered by a genuine human voice with support for over 5,000 words and a text-to-speech engine for pronouncing all other words. It was developed by a parent, learning scientist, and reading researcher. The app dictionary offers customized decoding support for each word as readers progress from simple to more complicated terms, covering everything from individual phonemes and letters through multi-letter sounds, syllables, prefixes, suffixes, root words, and full words within compound words. The app also recommends books for kids' interests and reading levels that parents may pick up from the library or bookstore. • The Reading Machine functions as a key decoder to open written words. Use it in conjunction with actual books, either those you already own or books you have checked out from the library. Alternately, utilize it on the iPad together with e-books or websites. • Excellent for struggling or early readers. • Enables you to enjoy reading with your child more because they can figure out words without needing your assistance by using the reading machine. • Children who still need assistance with reading sentences and books are those who already know the sounds that associate with each letter and can read a few words. • Provides complete word decoding and phonics support for every word in more than 125 bestselling early reader books. Even the first chapter of Harry Potter is available on the app for older readers. • For readers with varying interests and reading skills, the app offers lists of suggested books (referred to as "Book Sets"). This is a fantastic resource for identifying books that your reader will like. You may easily find these books for nothing at your local public library. or visit your preferred bookshop. • The app provides phonics support for all the words in the more than 125 books mentioned in the Book Sets, with accurate pronunciations recorded by a real, human voice. • Readers can use text-to-speech voice to hear the entire pronunciation of any word that isn't in the app's dictionary. As a result, they never run out of words. • The 300 most common English words, which account for 65% of all English reading material, are among the words with phonics and decoding support. Many of these terms are commonly labeled “sight words.” • New Book Sets and words can be downloaded for free from within the app as they become available.
We credit Special Words, which uses a version of the match, name, select method to teach sight words, with kick-starting Zoe’s reading and now at very nearly 10, she is a fantastic reader. The beauty of Special Words, like all the apps, is that it comes preloaded with words and images to get you started, but you can then add your own words or images as you need to teach different things. Zoe started out learning the 96 words provided with Special Words, which are mostly nouns, and then we adapted to extend her vocabulary and to teach topic vocabulary such as the Egyptians and most recently words related to RSE!
Strategies for language development in young children and beyond are offered through Special Words Plus. Children can use the app to develop their reading and communication abilities while also showcasing their knowledge. Use the app in school to help students learn and develop new skills in the classroom, during speech therapy sessions, or at home. Beverley and Colin Dean started the non-profit social venture Special iApps in 2011 because they couldn't locate the educational apps they required for their youngest son William, who has Down syndrome and Autism. They discovered that most apps were unsuitable for William's demands, had excessive background activity, and weren't easily customizable or changeable.
The perfect app! I purchased the app for my 23 year old autistic son who has never been able to read more than a few simple words. He loves the app and uses it every day to de-code words. He is fascinated with "text to speech" and this app has provided a key link in developing word recognition. I would highly recommend this app, particularly for adults with developmental disabilitie
This app is phenomenal! This is the missing link for my child. My child is autistic and over the years we have spent thousands of dollars on reading programs delivered as software or paper. None of these programs ever forced my child to pay attention to letter sequence nor did it force him to listen to the syllable sound out. This program does. The best thing is he can push the button a 1000 times during the sound out and the program ignores that input. I love this feature along with the ability to set the rate of the sound out. The only thing that I wish for is a larger database of sounded words for the 2nd grade level books that he is reading like the fly guy series. While most words are in the database a few are not. The words that are not sounded out are not as clear as the ones that are. Thank you so very much for this wonderful app it has already lead to improvement far beyond what I expected. I wish you could have witnessed the transformation from August to October that I have seen and it is 100% due to this app. Again THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH you have no how much this has helped us. we have worked on so many dolche words for so many years with no luck for memory or recall until now. I again have hope that my child will learn to read.
Got a beginning or struggling reader? This is what you are looking for. This app looks so simple, and it is. But it is incredibly powerful and effective. It works wonders with struggling readers and any child you want to give the ultimate school head start or boost. This new keyboard makes it a snap for young kids who can find letters the same way they do in the classroom- by looking at that big alphabet that runs around the room like wallpaper border. If your kids have trouble reading you probably feel like everything you try is tedious and makes their grind through the lessons like a bad day at work. But with this app you can find books about stuff they already think is cool and amazing. When they really WANT the information in the books, reading is a means to that very motivating end. This simple tool is like giving them a shovel at the beach. They don't think about the work of digging. They just dig like crazy to find out what's in that hole! So when they love what they are reading about this is a reading shovel and they'll dig like crazy to find out what's in those books. You will be amazed at how quickly they improve! Beginner readers will impress their teachers. Struggling readers will quickly get past their sense of failure and defeat and start to love reading. What more can you ask?
Special Words is excellent for children with additional needs and children who learn to read using sight vocabulary and not phonics.
- Gina Robinson, Teacher
Special Words is an absolute gem of an app and I am so proud to be using it.
- Laura Corkin, Teaching Assistant
Special iApps are very good, as your advertising says, uncluttered pages, clear text etc. I liked the Special Stories app which gives students the opportunity to personalise their writing. Well done!
- Ro O'Dwyer, Education Consultant at Down Syndrome Victoria
|Great for early or struggling readers
|A great guide for finding books your reader will enjoy
|Readers can hear the whole word pronunciation with text-to-speech voice
|Only break down a few words
|Create unlimited word lists
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