Thursday, May 5, 2011

Red Light! Green Light!

A very simple game, but a new twist!  I use this with my son at home, but also in therapy...mostly as a fun group game for social skills groups or recess buddy groups. It always draws a crowd, even when I didn't have the iPad. Almost ALL kids know the game and have basic understanding of the rules; although, they may need a refresher.  I have several apps for this type of game.  I'll talk about each and identify my favorite.  I also think these apps could be used for other behavior or other social skills.

Red Light Green HD  This is a FREE game, it is for the iphone/ipod, but enlarges just fine.  This is my favorite app for this type of activity because it is perfectly simple. It has voices that yell, "Red light" or "Green light".  You can adjust the modes: red/green, red/green/yellow, w/ sound, and stoplight mode.  You control when the light changes by tapping it. The great factor about using the iPad instead of turning your body is that I can monitor what the students are doing. I would still play the game the traditional way without the iPad...but the iPad certainly draws a crowd, which is often what I want when trying to find recess buddies for a student.   Just a note:  I likely would only allow my student to hold the iPad (a special privilege) vs. allowing students I did not know. All of my students know the rules for iPad use and have shown great respect for the device.
**Update:  I used this as a timer today...just a fun twist for therapy...the students were allowed to add some designs to sentences.  I hit 'green light' when they could start drawing and 'red light' when they needed to finish drawing and begin writing again.  It was a hit!  

Kids Traffic Light  This FREE app is an actual traffic light.  It is fairly cue and the lights are moderately bright. You can change the lights by tapping them.  It also has a turn signal light, which you could either use or ignore.  When tapped, the green light makes a 'car starting' sound.  The red light makes a 'braking' sound.  The yellow light says, 'caution'.  For recess or game play I still prefer the first app mentioned.  I might use this app for some other form of reinforcement....maybe even speech rate (red light for way too fast, yellow for slightly too fast, and green for just right), eye contact, or other behavior/social types of tasks.
***Another great way to use this app: Accordion paragraphs, webs, and written language.   Many of my students frequently work on written language.  One of the regular education strategies includes using red/yellow/green colors that are associated with the different sentences types (introduction, details, 'tell me more', conclusion).  For some recent sessions, I had the students create webs (they drew the 'bubbles'/lines with the associated colors).  When they went to a new 'bubble' on the web, they would tap the traffic light to signal they were switching modes.  Next, we used the webs to construct their paragraphs.  Again, they tapped the traffic light to signal they were switching sentence types.   Why did I have them do this?  To increase their ability to identify different sentence types, help them 'switch gears' within the task, and to add a fun factor (since most of my students are not immediate fans of the writing process).

 Red Light Green Light  Another FREE app, this is an actual traffic light that changes. If you select the small i in the corner, you can change the duration of each light.  It makes a dinging sound when it changes.  My complaint is that it is not as vibrant of a light and you can not change it on your own (it operates on a timer). This app would be more difficult to use for a game, especially a recess/outdoor game.  This app (of the 3) is not my favorite.

**There are quite a few other traffic or red light/green light style apps; however, these were free and suited my purpose!

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