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Reading intervention specialists will find the most value in HearBuilder Phonological Awareness, especially the paid subscription access. The activities align perfectly with Grade 1 CCSS as well, and Grade 1 teachers could use the introductory (free) activities with most students to develop phonological awareness and build listening skills. Without the subscription, students would benefit most from one-on-one time working through the activities with a teacher who can access student understanding without the reports. In classrooms with full access, students could work independently at their own pace and level.Continue reading Show less
HearBuilder Phonological Awareness helps students work on nine phonological awareness skills: Sentence Segmentation, Syllable Blending, Syllable Segmentation, Rhyming, Phoneme Blending, Phoneme Segmentation & Identification, Phoneme Deletion, Phoneme Addition, and Phoneme Manipulation. The story is based on a rock-band theme, with each activity relating to the band -- album titles, making music, getting new band members. The free introduction lets students play each activity, choosing low, medium, or high challenge levels. The full version rewards students with new band members as they advance through each activity, completing each with at least 80 percent accuracy. Teachers can view individual students' progress and customize their activities. In the activities, students hear words and manipulate them, changing vowel sounds or beginning sounds to create new words -- all of which must be identified by sound. They can hit the redo arrow to hear the instructions and words again, but no visual hints are offered. (The rhyming game does include pictures).
HearBuilder Phonological Awareness offers a research-backed program that helps kids develop phonological awareness, which improves reading. Conversely, reading improves phonological awareness, so emerging readers may struggle with some of these auditory exercises that test attention and listening skills as much as phonological awareness. In a one-on-one setting, the free activities are excellent for helping teachers gauge where students are. Most classrooms probably won't need the full version, although speech/language pathologists or reading specialists may find the full subscription very helpful for individualizing interventions with students and tracking their progress. In the full version, students progress through the activities at their own pace. Teachers can customize their paths as well as add specific levels of background noise.
Key Standards Supported
Reading Foundational Skills
Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).
Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds (phonemes).
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