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40 iPad Apps for Reading Disabilities Parents of children with reading disabilities, and educators who work with learning disabled students, are always looking for new tools to help the kids meet their potential and work through their disability. This is a list of 40 iPad apps designed to meet the needs of learning disabled kids and beginning readers alike. The apps are sorted into Helps, Fundamentals, Reading, Writing, and Spelling. This article is posted at Educator Technology and Mobile Learning, where there are a lot more articles like this one.


Advanced Read-Alouds for Preschoolers A list of 12 well-known children's books to try with preschool kids, from Beyond the Cover. The goal is "to have their mind stretched and challenged, so they can retain and understand things that are more advanced than simple words written down on a book of pictures... This isn’t so easy, trying to find a bunch of books that are advanced for preschoolers, having a great and intriguing story line to keep the attention of your children, and isn’t twaddle. It took me a while to find these books…" If you have preschoolers, and you think they are ready for something a little more advanced, try these books!


Bembo's Zoo A nice little site to teach ABCs. Really good animation and sounds!


Bright Ideas: Sticky Note Summaries from 3rd Grade Thoughts a tip-filled teacher's blog. A fully detailed description/lesson plan to help introduce 8 year old struggling readers to those big, scary chapter books. Excerpt: "At the end of the chapter, I will pass out one sticky note and have them put the chapter number on the top. We will then brainstorm one sentence that captures the main event/idea from that chapter and jot it down on the sticky note." Students end up with a summary sticky note at the end of each chapter. She lists various ways sticky note chapter summaries can be used. "What I loved about Sticky Note Summaries was that it started as a way to help my strugglers, but soon some of my advanced readers started using the strategy as well. As one student explained it to me, there was just too much to keep track of in the longer books, so this helped them keep it all straight."


************* DOLCH WORDS/SIGHT WORDS SITES ************************************


Dolch Word Lists from Jan Brett. "11 full-sized, printable lists with Jan Brett artwork." Great Jan Brett art, 20 words per page.


Dolch words page from Education Oasis. "Dolch "Basic Sight Words" are the 220 most frequently occurring words in children's books, excluding nouns. Because many of the words do not follow decoding rules, they cannot be sounded out. Thus, they are learned by sight. Dolch sight words comprise 52-75 percent of all words found in children's books." These can be printed out for your use.


spinning gold star Sight Words from Quiz-Tree. It says the words! Realizing that some of our younger kids were memorizing their little easy reader books*, we went looking for something online to reinforce their sight word knowledge. Shortly after clicking on this site's pre-primer word list, a teacher commented: "We need this site!" Each Sight Word is said aloud when it's clicked. We suggest having students try to say the word, then click on it. Part of a larger academic site, and free membership brings lots more goodies. *They'll do it, too, so keep an eye out for this.


Dyslexia information from the National Center for Learning Disabilities (A large site covering various LD issues.) It has in-depth definitions, explanations, warning signs, many articles for parents, and many resources.

Fonts for dyslexics - OpenDyslexic

OpenDyslexic font sample

Fonts for dyslexics - Dyslexie

Dyslexie font sample

OpenDyslexic "OpenDyslexic is a new open sourced font created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. The typeface includes regular, bold, italic, and bold-italic styles, and 2 typefaces: OpenDyslexic, and OpenDyslexic-Alta. It was created to help with my reading, and is being updated continually and improved based on input from other dyslexic users. There are no restrictions on using OpenDyslexic outside of attribution. (It's free.) For attribution, a simple mention of the URL, and linkback where applicable is sufficient." (We did that.) OpenDyslexic is constantly evolving based on feedback from users and educators. Example: OpenDyslexic-Alta. The "a" in Alta looks something like the "a" in Comic Sans with a heavier bottom. This font is open-source with volunteer developers.

Dyslexie offers another group of fonts, also designed to help dyslexics. Dyslexie seems more profit-oriented and businesslike, which could be an advantage for users. Dyslexie offers the Dyslexie Regular font free for home use only (annual license). Their Bold, Italic, and Italic Bold fonts are sold for school and business use on an annual license. At the bottom of the Home page are two videos about dyslexia and Dyslexie, which are well worth your time. There is also a user manual for downloading.

Both OpenDyslexic and Dyslexie fonts work on all the popular OS's (iOS, Mac OSX, Windows, Android, Chrome, etc). With extensions/plugins, both work on most known browsers; Chrome, Opera, Safari, Firefox, etc). Both work on Office. E-readers: Dyslexie works on Kobo for sure, perhaps on others, these things constantly change. OpenDysleic works on Kobo, too. iPad, iPhone, Kindles: OpenDysleic, yes, yes, and yes, but. Both OpenDyslexic and Dyslexie have rave reviews, some people prefer one to the other, Dyslexie is older and proven, OpenDyslexic keeps improving and welcomes skilled volunteer help. It is a matter of preference which one you use.

Lastly - some dyslexics report that color changes help. Every dyslexic is different, some colors may well help some to read better. Example (only): (Done entirely with Word.) Play with these fonts and ideas. Good luck.

color fonts for dyslexics


South Africa flag E-Classroom This fine South African site has bunches of free elementary school .pdf worksheets to download. These fun and entertaining sheets are well illustrated and are grouped by subject. Oh, they also have printable Literacy Lesson Plans! This site is updated at least monthly.


EFL/ESL Games for Kids Online Free Interactive from TurtleDairy. "Our interactive EFL/ESL games and online activities teach kids letter recognition and writing in an easy, comprehensive manner. Preschoolers are introduced to phonics and rhyming words which help in early reading and writing skills. For more mature learners, we offer a wide range of vocabulary and grammar exercises." 13 pre-K, 27 K, 20 1st grade, and 18 2nd grade games.


ELL Kids (ELL/ESL/EFL/EL/Bilingual) from the Appleton Area School District of Appleton, Wisconsin. Covers the vocabulary that ESL students and beginning readers need with 260 (wow!) activity-filled sites (not including sub-sites). Mrs. Katherine Carney must have drawn on her ESL background to produce this colorful list of eye-watering awesomeness!


Union Jack Early Learning "This page features early learning websites for young toddlers and pre-schoolers. Fun ways to introduce your toddler to their abc, 123, shapes and colours with great games, downloads and flash cards." Also sites for older children. There are some wonderful things on here, many of which were new to us! Part of allkids, a fine learning & shopping site from the UK.


Flag of NetherlandsEducational games from "On this page you can find the overview of the educational games from All games can be played full screen on a PC, a tablet (Android Tablets, iPad, etc) or mobile phone (Android, iOS)." Here's a diverse group of kids' games, from numeracy to multiplication, with some early language arts, some geography, time, hieroglyphics, and some money math. Here they are by subject with the number of games in parentheses:

  • Multiplication (8)
  • Addition (7)
  • Subtraction (2)
  • Fractions (3)
  • Learn to count (7)
  • Kindergarten games (2)
  • Language (3)
  • Topography USA (5)
  • Topography Europe (2)
  • Clocks (4)
  • History (2)
  • Money games (3)
  • A big Thank You to Marcel van de Wouw. These are nice!



    English for early years These are lessons in letter sounds/phonemes and sentence structure (how to make a sentence show sequence of events.) Downloadable zip files that make folders containing the lesson, which will then start your browser. Interactive Flash lessons that use your browser. From Education Services Australia and Curriki.


    Free Worksheets for Kids from K-5 Learning. This is a commercial site with a good reputation. They offer quit a bit of free material. "Our website has free resources for preschool through grade 5 kids... We have:
  • math worksheets for grades 1-6, extensive and very organized
  • worksheets for preschool and kindergarten (letters, numbers, shapes and colors, phonics, etc.)
  • grammar worksheets
  • reading comprehension worksheets
  • cursive writing worksheets
  • over 25 multimedia reading and math lessons
  • Visitors can also download our ebook: How to Help Your Kids Succeed in School.
    Mastering these worksheets would give students a solid foundation to build on. Thanks to Joy at K-4 Learning for her email.


    Groundhog Day from Starfall. "Groundhog, groundhog, what will you see? Groundhog, groundhog, please tell me!" Clicking on the alarm clock makes the groundhog sit up and rub its eyes. The next frame lets kids click on the words to see pronunciation; then click on the groundhog and it runs up the tunnel!


    spinning gold star Josie's Poems It's fair to call this site "the biggest poetry website on the internet". "...knowing how very important rhyming and rhythmic poetry is for helping children develop phonological awareness, a key literacy tool, I’ve just written almost 900 poems for children of all ages." These are GOOD poems to read or to read aloud. The sort of poems that develop language skills, because they emphasize rhyming, rhythm, the way words sound in the head, mouth, and ear, and demonstrate the use of parts of speech! The haiku, cinquains, adverb poems, similes page is a shining example of how to teach poetry structure and grammar all at once! Read Apostrophe - Mr Blob and see what we're so happy about. There are ebooks, audios, and videos, too, and the chance to buy books (the rest of the site is free). This site is also used by ESL students in Europe. The English speaking world badly needs this sort of place on the web - so much of what is in here is no longer covered well (or at all) in many educational environments. We should have posted this site a long time ago. A big THANK YOU to Josie Whitehead, the teacher who created the site and most of the poems!


    Keyboarding Zoo"is a fun and educational activity to help early elementary age students learn the keyboard. Children are encouraged to use their index or pointer fingers to match letters on the screen to their keyboards." With music and talking monkeys! For grades K - 2.


    Kids' Pages for Small Ages features "free printable ESL flashcards, worksheets, coloring pages, an alphabet for teachers, parents and children, educative stories like Aesop's Fables, or fairy-tales by Christian Anderson or Brothers Grimm, online games and puzzles." Very colorful and kid friendly, with a good selection of printables. Thanks, Thea, for the email about your site!


    KidsSpell from KidsKnowIt. "Our fun, and high-paced spelling games help you practice your spelling words. You can pick from over 400 spelling lists, or create your own custom spelling list. All games will then use the spelling list you have loaded." About time we had a good spelling site around here.


    LANGUAGE ARTS » SEQUENCE from Learn NC 16 lesson plans and ideas for teaching sequence to beginning readers and writers. Story structure, timelines, flip books, and more are used to help kids comprehend an event's beginning, middle, and end.


    Literacy Net This is a great interactive site for learning letters, numbers, shapes, and colors! Animated, with sound. Also in German, French, and Spanish!


    Little Explorers English Picture Dictionary  from Enchanted Learning, the Zoom sites people.  Here is an illustrated elementary-level dictionary.


    Download Minisebran - Freeware For Toddlers. This is from Marianne Wartoft, a very intelligent Swede who has also created the excellent ABC Sebran and Seterra (Only the best geography freeware EVER for kids AND adults!) among others. "Minisebran is a free suite of early learning games for kids 2-6 years old . It includes eight different exercises, including doodle drawing exercises and very simple games to get to know the numbers and letters, and learning to use the keyboard." We've played with it, it's fun! It would be useful for K - 1 as well as some special needs, and good for training fine motor skills.


    Letter Sounds Online All of Owl & Mouse's downloadable Letter Sounds games are now online and interactive! " Letter Sounds helps children make the first, vital connection between the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they represent. Children drag pictures to the letters that make the first sounds of the word that describes the picture. Voice is used to be sure that children know the right word and to reinforce the connection between the first letter and the first sound in the word. Fun, educational hands-on learning." Play the original (initial consonants & some blends) game, also long and short vowels, initial consonant blends, and "s" blends!


    National Children's Literacy Website "Because Children Need to Read - More than any other single skill, the ability to read - and read well - allows a child to succeed in school, learn about the world, function in society, and someday have decent job options. Enhancing children's literacy is at the heart of the Soho Center's NATIONAL CHILDREN'S LITERACY INFORMATION project - a national children's literacy initiative. The Soho Center is committed to promoting children's literacy in child care settings and home settings. Whether you are a family child care provider, a teacher in a child care center or Head Start program, or a parent of a pre-school or school-age child - there's a lot you can do." This site has quite a lot of good advice, tips, and resources for any child care teacher or home schooling parent. We are very grateful to Jeanna Beker, Director, The Soho Center for emailing us about The Soho Center and its excellent literacy site!


    Downloads Owl & Mouse Educational Software Great phonics software that reminds us of the old MECC Apple games of the 1980s. Free software for you to download and install, or play online. Their plug: "Help your child learn with games, software and educational activities from Owl & Mouse Educational Software. Early reading software—phonics software, alphabet games, and Dolch sight words in a fairy tale story. All of it FREE!'


    Paragraph Shrinking from Reading Rockets "Paragraph shrinking is an activity developed as part of the Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS). The paragraph shrinking strategy allows each student to take turns reading, pausing, and summarizing the main points of each paragraph. Students provide each other with feedback as a way to monitor comprehension." Everything is explained on the web page, with a video and printables.


    Tricolour Poisson Rouge A delightful hands-on, open-ended exploration site from France, just one site of many brought to you by Kids Activities from allkids, a fine learning site from the UK. Just all sorts of fun things to click on here. In order to survive financially, PR was forced to become a subscription site. BUT It's definitely worth the money! :)


    Reading Indeed.



    Reading Rainbow logo Reading Rainbow is coming back! This time on the web! And there's an app for that!

    Reading Rainbow app from Appstore Reading Rainbow for Kindle/Android


    Reading Rockets "is a national multimedia literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help. We bring the best research-based strategies to anyone helping a young child become a strong, confident reader. The project includes PBS television programs (also available online and on DVD); online services ( and; professional development opportunities; and a robust social community on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr." (edited by us) Big sections on: teaching reading (lots of tips & ideas), helping strugglers (ditto), A-Z list of topics ("a rich library of classroom strategies" 44 topics!), children's books and authors (including booklists and how to choose books), fun things to order, and more.


    Short Stories from British Council. Dozens of good, interactive, voice narrated stories for kids. "Do you like listening to and reading stories? There are lots and lots of great stories here for you to watch and listen to. There are stories for your little brother and sister too!"


    Sesame Street Still helping little ones, since the 1960s. Their site has oodles of activities about letters, numbers, coloring, music, eating healthy, and much more. Let kids click and explore! Some activities require Java or Flash.


    spinning gold starSight Words from Quiz-Tree. Realizing that some of our younger kids were memorizing their little easy reader books, we went looking for something online to reinforce their sight word knowledge. Shortly after clicking on this site's pre-primer word list, a teacher commented: "We need this site!" It says the words aloud, too. So, here it is. Part of a larger academic site, and free membership brings lots more goodies.


    Songs from British Council. Dozens of good kid songs, old and new. In Flash or as video. Great for singing along. "Do you like listening to songs in English? Singing songs is a great way to get better at speaking English and we have lots of great songs for you to enjoy! Have fun!"

  logo StarFall Fantastic phonics-intensive site for pre-k through second grade. Stories, movies, and games! Progressive levels let kids read or be read to. Every time we go to this site with K-2 kids, we find something new and great! This site WILL keep those busy little brains going for a whole computer lab session! Thanks, Tia S.


    thumbnail of poster

    Why Your Child Can't Skip Their 20 Minutes of Reading Tonight Four downloadable graphics in .pdf form, you can buy them as posters. "A little infographic I designed for a teacher to send home with his/her primary students. Intended to be reproduced by teachers on non-professional equipment." Done up by a graphic artist/designer on Behance to showcase her talents and to help her teacher mom :) You can download a printable letter-sized .pdf version in English or Spanish, a student version (Why You Can't Skip...), and an up to 8th grade version.




    Word Builder from Houghton-Mifflin has spelling and phonics activities for grades 1 - 6. From 27 - 30 activities per grade level are listed, matched to textbook levels. Really good information here, of increasing difficulty to match progress through the school year.



    Reading Kids Worldwide

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