Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Project #10


This is a great tool for that I was told about when I went to my little brother's IEP meeting at Collins-Rhodes Elementary School in 8-Mile. My brother, Jordan, was being evaluated for the Special Education program due to his test scores drastically dropping. As an older sister, I was concerned about my little brother's psychological health due to the teasing from his peers, but as a Special Ed teacher in training, I was more intrigued by the process. After about 2 hours of going through Jordan's grades from Fondie Elementary and his grades from the fall semester, the committee concurred that it was in his best interest to go through Special Education testing. 

On our way out, my mother and I ran into the reading and math coaches at the school. I did not feel that we had an adequate amount of information to help my little brother so I asked about activities or websites that we could use at home to help him. Both of them told me about this website called Starfall. With a curious mind, I decided to go investigate. Starfall is an interactive website for elementary school students. It focuses mainly on Phonics, Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, and Fluency. Most Special Education children, especially those with Learning Disabilities, such as my brother, lack these skills. The teacher can even download worksheets and student logs to keep track of the progress of the child. The best part about it is that the student is not even aware that he or she is learning. They think that they are just playing games on the computer.

 Starfall has so much more to offer. I played around with it and found so many avenues, especially this one game that my brother absolutely loves. It's a phonics game where he gets to drive a car and collect clues to figure out what the letters spell out. He totally gets a kick out of playing this game and he is slowly learning to read on a 1st grade level. Just to give you a heads up, he is in the 2nd grade with a kindergarden comprehension level in Reading and Math. A deficiency in both are evidence of a Learning Disability. 

As an educator, I do not want my students to feel as though they are different because they don't learn similar to or as fast as the other students. I want them to understand that they are the same as everyone else and can do what everyone else is doing, but they just need a different way of learning what the others are learning. I honestly believe that Starfall is a great resource and I plan to use it when I am able to get into a classroom. 

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