Homeschool parents enjoy using software of all kinds (math, spelling, reading, foreign language learning and more) to make it easier and more fun for their children to learn at home. And parents who have children in school but feel that their kids need more enrichment or private tutoring to do their best also understand the power of a good learning software program. But learning software isn’t just for one-on-one use — it is also useful in a one-on-many classroom setting with small groups.
There are different ways to use reading software in the classroom. It is very effective for kids with dyslexia or other learning disabilities to use for learning in a multisensory way and at their own pace. Of course, reading software is also a good computer lab activity and a way for children of all reading levels to reinforce their skills.
But software can also be used very effectively in a small group setting in which the teacher is working with students of similar or dissimilar reading skill levels to help students:
- develop phonemic awareness
- learn the sounds of letters and letter combinations
- practice high-frequency words
- learn to read sight words that don’t follow phonetic spelling rules
- practice spelling short words
- build fluency by reading short sentences
Whether it is used as an adaptation for a dyslexic child who needs to catch up to the right reading level or as a tool to teach a small group of children at the same time, reading software such as the Language Tune-Up Kit (LTK) is a welcome addition to the teacher’s toolbox.
Research has shown that learning disabled students can benefit from a combination of whole class instruction and small group instruction in which LD students are integrated with non-LD students. The LTK and similar reading software provide a wealth of options for teachers to work with individual LD students, to use with small groups of LD or mixed-ability students, or for all students to use in a computer lab setting.
That versatility is part of the reason that our LTK software has been used successfully to help so many students advance multiple grade levels in reading.
And because it is useful in so many settings (home, school and tutoring use), the Language Tune-Up Kit is sold in different versions. The Family version is available for two students and takes them from beginning reading through a grade 8.5 reading level. The School versions of the LTK provide support for an unlimited number of students on a single PC with the LTK for Schools Single Station version, or an unlimited number of students on an unlimited number of PCs with the LTK for Schools Enterprise Network version.
So the teacher can lead a group working at about the same speed, or let each student progress at his or her own speed in a group setting — depending on your class structure and student needs.