My Favorite Educational iPad App: Bitsboard Review

I work with deaf and hard-of-hearing students of all different ages and levels.  I use Bitsboard with so many different levels and ages of kids (currently 3-year-old to 8th grade).  It’s a must-have app for teachers!  I’ve used to to introduce topics (school objects, actions words, sight words), auditory training (animal sounds, Ling sound check, environmental sounds), and to support vocaublary in the classroom.  This app is amazingly free and incredible!

The basic concept: Create or download a set of flash cards, called a “board.”  Each flash cards consists of a picture and a word. You can add your own pictures or select one from the app.

The app includes a number of games that can be used with any “board.” Every update has seen more new games, and they’re always awesome!

With the new update, you can also add different users.  This will be great for me, since I work with many different students – I can track their progress and more!

Download it here to try it out!

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Bitsboard Help Center

Why share a board?

How to Delete a Board from the catolog

Problem Downloading Boards

How to Delete Boards

Auditory / Listening Activities

As a traveling teacher for deaf and hard of hearing students, I work with some of my students on awareness of sounds, environmental noises, and more!  I finally decided to compile a list of my favorite resources.

Before I start – here is a great video to help you understand the effects of a hearing loss:

Environmental Sound & Picture Games [Interactive]

  • Little People Animal Sounds Game – An animal noise is heard, and the child has to select which (cartoon) animal made the sound.  The game is the same few animals each time (in a different order), so playing it a number of times in a row may result in inaccurate results.
  • Curious George / Cows Don’t Quack – Animal Sounds; the animals have mixed up their sounds.  Drag the speech bubbles (with a different animal sound) to the right animals.  Adds more animals each round.
  • Listening Games (Transportation, Sounds Around the House, or Water) – There are 3 different games to choose from.  Each question / sound shows you 3 picture choices each time.
  • Magic School Bus Environmental Sounds – There are a few rounds of this game.  The child listens to a sound, and has to select from 5 pictures (matching). There are 3 rounds of this game.  The game does not change if you play it again: environmental sounds such as phone ringing, alarm clock, whistle blowing, fire truck, etc.  5 picture choices each time, 3 rounds.
  • Sound Match Game – 5 sounds each time, usually in category (one is animials, another is instruments).  The pictures are very small.
  • Boogie Band Studio Game – Listen to the pattern and then repeat.  Easy, medium, and hard levels.
  • Scholastic Sound Matching Game – Plays an animal or instrument, the child has to select and drag the correct picture.  8 options.

Environmental Sound / Written Word Games [Interactive]

  • Sound Monster Game – Gives child a sentence to read, has a selection of 4+ sounds (can listen to as well as see written word “bzzz”).  Child has to select correct sound. (Example: A bee goes ____.  They can listen to 4 sounds, and have to drag and drop the “bzzz” one.)
  • Animal Sounds – The child listens to the sound and then types the name of the animal heard from a word bank of 21 animals.
  • Who Am I –  asks users to guess sounds made by 20 animals heard at night.

Phonics, Listening, and Reading Games  [Interactive]

  • Between the Lions / Pounce – Pounce on the written word that matches the sound.  It then shows a picture of that word.
  • Between the Lions / Fuzzy Lion Ears – Listen to words & choose the missing letter (shows a picture of the word as well)
  • What’s in the Bag – Listen to 3 clues; Example: Fruit, eat (with chewing sounds), stem.  Then, select from 3 pictures and words the correct item (peas, ice cream, apple)
  • Picture Match – 3 different game options: Beginning Letter Sounds, Short Vowel Sounds, Long Vowel Sounds – Have to match pictures based on sounds.
  • Clifford’s Sound Match – Find the words that begin with the same letter (gives you a pan, will read any word to you, have to drag and drop words with the same beginning sound)
  • Reading Rover’s Sound Check – This game requires a child to distinguish words that differ by the initial sound or phoneme.  The child should click the picture that has a different first sound than the other three pictures. (Adobe Flash Player required)
  • Alien Scavenger Hunt – asks players to choose the sounds they hear in the word presented.
  • Lanolin’s Greenhouse Beginning Sounds – “Listen to a word /sock/.  If you change the beginning sound to /r/, which is the right picture?” Child selects from 2 choices.
  • Phoneme Manipulation Pumpkin Patch – “Listen to the work /book/.  Which word is /book/ without the /b/ sound.”  Child selects from 2 choices.

Classroom or At Home Listening Activities (In order from easy to difficult)

  • Wake-up Bell – Play a simple game of pretending to sleep and waking up when you hear a bell ring. Take turns with the child being the sleeper and ringing the bell. [Preschool Express]
  • Egg Timer – Set and hide an egg timer somewhere in a room. Have child try to find it before or after it rings. [Preschool Express]
  • Sound Bottles – Small black film cans are great for this activity. Fill 8 cans with food items. (2 with salt; 2 with rice; 2 with macaroni, 2 with large dried beans.) Seal cans and mix them up. Have child try to find matching sound [Preschool Express]
  • Start / Stop – Using two noise makers, such as a bell and a drum, instruct child to walk when he hears the bell and to stop when he hears the drum. He will want a turn making the sounds, too. [Preschool Express]
  • Rhythm Game –  Have the child sit with you. Then use a flat base and create a rhythm, something like one slow beat, then two fast ones. Ask the child to repeat what you did. When the child has been successful in doing the same, add more taps and beats and vary the rhythm to make it more difficult. This allows the child to listen and keep the rhythm and sequence in mind, which automatically increases the child’s auditory memory. [Buzzle]
  • Number Game – Make a simple combination of numbers, for example – 5-4-9. Then ask the child to repeat. Slowly start increasing the numbers and increase the level of difficulty by using double digit combinations. This will require more concentration and better understanding. You can also make it more interesting by adding a tune to it and having the child repeat it. [Buzzle]
  • Simon Says – Play the classic kids game Simon Says. When the leader calls out an instruction such as “Touch your nose,” the players are supposed to follow the instruction only when it’s accompanied by the words “Simon says.” If a child with weak auditory memory is struggling with the concept, you could omitthe Simon Says part and make it a game of following simple directions. On the other hand, if a child is doing well, increase the complexity of the instructions. You can say, “Simon Says touch your nose with one hand and your mouth with the other hand.” [Livestrong]
  • Tootie-Ta – Listening and following directions chant (see linked video)
  • Read and Remember – Read a simple story to the child.  At the conclusion, ask questions about it, starting with easy ones such as “Who wanted to eat the three little pigs?” [Livestrong]
  • Add to the List – Start a silly list and let the child add to it. You can say, “I’m going to outer space, and I’m going to bring a broom.” Your child says, “I’m going to outer space, and I’m going to bring a broom and an apple.” Each player repeats the list and adds an item. Some people play the game by adding items in alphabetical order, so the first thing could be an apple, the second one a broom, the third a cat, and so on. [Livestrong]

Phonics, Listening, and Reading Games  [Offline]

  • Discrimination Cards by Dave Sindrey – Printable cards that you can use to distinguise sounds in words

Advanced Listening Activities

Other Helpful Websites:

Some of the great resources I used:

Jungle Classroom

One thing I miss not having a classroom is decorating it.  Here was my jungle themed classroom!

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Dragonfly Work Display!
I used di-cut clothespin friends and hot glue to make clips on my wall to hold my students’ word to display!

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Word Waterfall Word Wall
I love the teacher center! If I did this again, I’d put these on cards or something – they were a pain to laminate!

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Jungle caterpillar number line!
Odds are yellow, evens are orange, fives are white. Love it!
Also, note the vines in the corner, I used beanie babies to decorate them around the room!

Calendar Time!

This has NOTHING to do with jungles.  BUT, I thought it was adorable 🙂

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Red Ribbon Week / Halloween Decoration!

My bathroom “passes.” Got these cute boy and girl robots at Michael’s. If a student wanted to use the restroom, they move down the robot. Then when the inevitable (12) student(s) asked to use the restroom, I would just point to the sign 🙂