Teacher Review For Starfall.com

Starfall engages special education students with decoding words in interactive stories.

LeahL
Classroom teacher
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My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 5
Pedagogy 3
Support 4
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
I like using this app as a once a week tool. The students find it to be a treat from the norm and participate in oral reading as a whole group. This app also has phonics for readers who need to acquire those skills. My preprimer level student uses the Starfall phonics section to reinforce letter sounds as he learns them. I have seen improvement with his recall in this area as it seems to help him remember the letter sounds because of the picture associations that are presented in the Starfall phonics section. As a whole class, I project a story onto the Smartboard, the students are able to read aloud in a whole group setting as I highlight the word. By highlighting the word the students are able to stay on track and read together. This allows me to hear which students may need help with specific words. The students enjoy the stories and feel a sense of accomplishment from completing each story. One downfall from the application is that there is no way to individually record student progress. I make data sheets for the students who use Starfall for phonics support. After each letter sound practiced I write the date and whether the student needs further practice or has mastered the specific phonics sound. Overall, I would recommend this app for reading support in the classroom as well as an interactive way to engage the students in the reading process.
My Take
This application is a fun and engaging way for the students to review reading sight words. I teach students with mild/moderate cognitive disabilities who typically range from Kindergarten to 5th grade level for Reading. This application can be used individually with students to improve reading decoding and phonics. The primer level students enjoy learning phonics while the higher level readers benefit from reading along with the stories provided.