Do you have a child in pre-school or getting ready to enter Kindergarten ? Would you like an easy tool to informally assess their Kindergarten readiness and then to provide you with tips on how to help them in areas that need work? Or are you a pre-school teacher wanting to assess your students? Then i am-READY Pre-K Assess and Learn is a great new tool for you. It is designed for use with children aged 3-5 and allows to to both assess their Kindergarten readiness and gives suggestions on how to work on areas where the child isn’t yet ready.
i am-READY Pre-K Assess and Learn was developed by a University Professor with many years of experience of working with preschool-aged children with learning problems. Her research showed that iPads could be a valuable learning tool for young children but that parents often got frustrated trying to find the right apps to help their children. This app takes a child-centered approach and is a tool developed to help parents find out what specific skills their child needs help with and to provide them with suggestions of apps and off screen activities that will help their particular area of need. It is also a great tool for pre-school teachers allowing them to assess their students and give parents advice on extra activities that would be helpful for that child. It has 5 user profiles, which can be deleted and replaced, and allows you print reports.
If the child has never used an iPad before, or if you just want to give them some fun activities before starting testing, this section has games to introduce them to working on the iPad. The games also allow them to practice skills such as dragging and dropping and tapping. It has 3 games:
- Pop the Balloons: the child practices tapping and hand-eye co-ordination by tapping balloons or bubbles, complete with satisfying “popping” sounds and praise when they are all popped.
- Wash The Cat: the cat is covered in mud and the child rubs it all over with a soapy sponge to get clean.
- Drag the Balls: The child practices dragging and dropping a variety of different sized balls into a bucket.
The app assess 9 different areas: Reading Readiness; Math Readiness; Language and Concepts; Fine Motor Skills; Tracing/Printing/Coloring/Drawing; Puzzles; Gross Motor Skills; Self Help; Social Skills and Behavior.
For each section there are a series of questions for the parent/ teacher to answer, based on their observations of the child. Some of the tasks are off iPad, for example in Reading Readiness “Does the child hold a book the right way up?” or “Does the child enjoy being read to?” and in Gross Motor Skills “Can the child catch a medium-sized ball ?” Others involve on-iPad tasks such as counting objects on the screen, tracing, drawing and coloring and solving puzzles. For the iPad activities when the child gets it correct there is positive reinforcement, if incorrect they move on to the next question without any feedback. Occasionally some simple equipment is needed such as paper and scissors or a ball, but these are all things that are commonly found in preschools and homes of young children.
At the end of each section the results can be saved, so the adult can choose to do the whole assessment in one sitting or just one section at a time. Once a section is completed the adult can view the reports for that section to see which skills the child needs to work on. These results can be printed or emailed. As well as being a great tool for parents and educators of normally developing pre-school aged children, this is also very useful for use with children with Special Needs who may be working on these skills later.
The beauty of this app is not only does it allow you to assess which skills the child needs to work on, but it also gives suggestions on how to work on those skills. Within each report there is a magnifying glass next to each skill, tapping on this will bring up suggestions on what to do next. For some skills these are off iPad, such as advice on how to teach young children to correctly hold scissors and how to make scissors slightly smaller to fit tiny hands. In other areas they recommend specific apps that work on the skill in question and they also describe how that app helps with the specific skill. Many of the apps they suggest are ones The iMums have reviewed and recommend such as The Social Express, Dexteria Jr and Bugs and Buttons.
i am-READY Pre-K is a very useful tool for parents and educators of children preparing for Kindergarten, and for children with Special Needs. It gives a detailed assessment of the child’s skill level and areas they need to work on, but it also takes it a step further by helping parents to find the right apps and off screen activities to help in these areas.
This app is regularly $9.99 but is on sale for only $2.99 in February don’t miss it !!