How I Use It
Starfall is an interactive activity that exposes students to letters, numbers, reading, and math. I use this with a touchscreen as a station for students with special needs. My friends have physical and cognitive disabilities of all levels. So when used with a 24-inch touchscreen, the colorful icons promote hand-eye coordination, fine motor movements, as well as gross motor movements. I watch their eyes for tracking as characters interact with the alphabet or sing a song. Many of my students are motivated by food and will briefly stand in front of their wheelchairs to move pizza slices across the screen to count them. The higher-level thinkers will touch shapes to complete a sequence puzzle. The variety of activities within Starfall emulate what is taught in the classroom and increases exposure to academic content.
First, the website is easy to navigate and very kid-friendly. The big, colorful icons are easily seen and very attractive to my students. Happy, animated characters dance, sing, and talk with speech that is clear and slow enough for the user to process the information. The visuals are relatable and fun to keep the attention of students with low attention spans. Additionally, I like the large range of cognitive levels that Starfall accommodates. Activities can be as simple as watching letters or number flash across the screen, to more complex shape puzzles. Above all else, the students are happily engaged with information that can otherwise hard to absorb.