Thursday, October 6, 2011

App of the Month: MiniMod

It's that time of year here in New Hampshire.  NECAP time.  New England Common Assessment Program.  Time for all third through eighth graders to prove to  government officials that teachers are teaching and they are learning.  Kids all over the state are sharpening their #2 pencils (well, the teachers are anyway), getting extra sleep (yeah right), and drinking lots of water (hopefully, since water is essential for optimal brain performance).  Teachers all over the state are trying to get their students to understand the importance of doing their best on standardized test while at the same time not raising their anxiety levels.  Parents all over the state are...well...actually I don't know this one.  I have a preschooler and a toddler and teach kids before they reach testing age, but I would imagine that parents are concerned and want to help their child succeed.

I came across the MiniMod apps by e Skills Learning when I was searching for apps to strengthen the reading comprehension of my higher level readers.  I purchased a Lite version of MiniMod Basic Cloze Practice for $2.99 to test it out.  I was immediately sold on the product.

With MiniMods for many of the skills tested on common standardized tests, including Cloze (fill in the blanks), Reading for Inferences, Reading for Details, and Word Structure, and reading levels from second through sixth, grade, Minimods are great practice.  The questions are posed in a great Bingo game format that a student can play alone or against a friend.  When my students played, they were engaged, excited and learning.  As a teacher...that is what I am looking for!

MiniMods are pricey.  When you are used to 99 cent apps, paying nine dollars seems like a lot.  However these apps seem to have been crafted with a great deal of thought and meet very specific student needs.  They target the areas in which a student is weak in their reading comprehension and provide increasingly difficult tasks in a format (game based and technology based) that kids want to interact with. Improvement is inevitable.

Check out'll be glad you did!

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