Clicker 5 is a software program by Cricksoft that supports language and literacy in a variety of different ways. My direct experience with Clicker 5 lies primarily in writing, but I have also used it to improve reading fluency and sight-word recognition. This program has a ton of capabilities but today’s post will focus on how it can be used in the classroom and at home to support writing.
Who Can Benefit? Students who:
Are working on expanding their writing
Have limited vocabulary
Struggle with sequencing
Are English Language Learners
Struggle with ideas at the sentence and/or paragraph level
How Does Clicker 5 Work? A common, low-tech modification I make for writers is to offer a word bank. A word bank is a box of words that students can choose from to make their writing flow and to make it more exciting. This strategy improves word choice, vocabulary, sequence and spelling. For example, if the writing prompt is: Write about a moment when you helped someone else, I might use a word bank like this:
With Clicker 5, a teacher or parent can create an appropriate word bank for a child. You can even tie a word to a picture symbol or an audio file so that the child has multiple ways of accessing the vocabulary. Depending on the child’s level of independence, you can use Clicker 5 to support writing on a sentence or paragraph level. At first, a child can string together whole words from his/her word bank. Later, a student can use an on-screen keyboard to work on generating and spelling the word independently. When a student has completed a sentence, he/she can have the sentence read aloud. As a voice reads the text aloud, the text is highlighted, adding a visual component. This helps particularly with editing and revision because many writers can hear errors that they might not notice if they are reading the text in their mind.
Watch this video to see Clicker 5 in action.
What I Love About Clicker 5: I love that it offers students structure, yet makes them feel independent as writers. I also love that the tool bar resembles Microsoft Word, which prepares students for later use of other words processing programs.