I am a specialist teacher, a SENCO and do training as well. A lot of my learners have poor memory skills and I need to find things that can support them. Memory Booster has a story element and it is fun to do. Children are engaged right from the very start and when it gets tricky and they have to remember four or five items at a time they are very motivated. The program has attractive graphics and cartoons are used for rewards which most children find riveting. The memory strategies which are suggested are not new to them but because they are presented in a different and more entertaining way they have more impact. I have a range of programs I use but many of them come back to Memory Booster because of the graphics
I do a lot of paper based assessment but the computer based ones keep the children focused. I also use COPS with younger children and LASS with older ones.
Some of the assessments are linked to real life scenarios. For example, in the LASS assessment, the mobile phone task is considered a great ‘real life’ motivator. Through this engaging task, auditory sequential memory is assessed.
LASS 11 – 15, is especially successful. Teenagers like the design. Boys at that age often have low esteem and we are revisiting their areas of weakness. Through LASS, they have more control over the assessment process. They can see how far they have got and how much remains to be done. They can stop and start the assessment as it does not have to be done all in one go and they can choose in which order to do the various elements.
The design of COPS and LASS is really clever because you don’t need a qualified person to administer the assessment. A Learning Support Assistant can quickly get up to speed and carry out reliable standardised assessments. It is very straightforward and the program produces a profile which is easy for parents and staff to understand.
On occasions, I have used the COPS and LASS assessments with pupils where English is a second language. This software lends itself well to this especially. This software has been used successfully for these students, both with and without an interpreter.
I love using Lucid software. I have used this software for a number of years. I find the company very friendly and supportive. This support is linked to technical issues as well as advice on various areas of standardisation. I have always found the staff very helpful and knowledgeable.
Michael Hannaway works at the Naima Jewish Preparatory School in North London which takes in children from 3-11. By and large the children are above the national ability level and are taught in small classes which ensures that they make rapid progress. Nonetheless, because the school is non-selective, there is still a wide range of ability. All the children learn Hebrew and this can cause laterality difficulties so there is a higher incidence of letter reversals Michael uses Lucid Rapid, a dyslexia screening program, at the end of year 1 if a child is having literacy difficulties of any kind, just to make sure that phonological awareness is in place, ‘It is a very effective tool and quick to administer,’ said Michae.l ‘The children like it because they think it is a game.’
He also uses Ability to assess verbal and non-verbal reasoning skills and general ability, ‘We use these as first line screening tools. We would use them in conjunction with other tools before referring the pupils to the school’s educational psychologist. Professional judgment is key but these interventions help us identify children who need help.’