Strategy

# Sonic Math Fundamentals part 3: Identifying

## Here is a fully accessible preschool/kindergarten app that teaches shapes, positions, colors and size using sonification!

Who doesn’t love a good mystery? Super Sleuth players are detectives trying to solve a mystery. Answer three questions to receive clues and unravel the puzzle. Can you solve the mystery?

Merging the skills from the previous games, the Super Sleuth player has to find shapes located in five possible locations on the screen (top, left, middle, right, and/or bottom), trace to identify the shapes, and then successfully answer three questions to receive clues to solve the mystery.

The purpose of the Super Sleuth games is to use gamification to support and build critical preschool and kindergarten concepts. Through game play, students are identifying shapes, positions, colors, and sizes using sonification. Students are also learning same and different concepts. There are three progressive versions of the Super Sleuth game: Super Sleuth Identify, Super Sleuth Specific Same and Different, and Super Sleuth Generic Same and Different.

## Super Sleuth Identify

Random shapes appear on the screen and the student traces the shapes to identify them. Students should determine the type of shape, color, size and location of each shape. Students are then asked two questions per round; students double tap on the correct shape to select the answer. If the answer is correct, the student receives the first clue. There are three rounds per game and the possibility of three clues per game. Once all three rounds are played, the student uses the three clues to identify the animal to solve the mystery.

Below are samples of the two random questions that might be associated with the two shapes in the picture.

• Which shape is in the center of the screen?
• Which shape is a square?
• Which shape is red?
• Which shape is small?
• Which shape has the most corners?

Below is a video of the Super Sleuth Identify Game; this video demonstrates a full 3 round game with the solved mystery.

Note: The Super Sleuth videos are of the beta version of Super Sleuth. Some of the announcements will be fine-tuned; there is also a current bug in which occasionally a question will be asked that has two possible answers.

## Super Sleuth Specific Same and Different game

Same and different are important preschool and kindergarten skills. Before students can understand matching, they first need to grasp the concept of same and different. Same and different skills provide opportunities for young students to develop critical thinking and nurtures their attention to detail. Same and different skills build the ability to see patterns and sequencing, and are foundations for reading and math skills.

In the Same and Different Specific game, the questions are “specific”, meaning the question prompts the student to look for a specific characteristic.

In this picture, the associated same and different question would be, “Find all of the same colored shapes.” or “Find the different colored shape.”

Questions for other pages include:

• Find all of the same sized shapes.
• Find the different sized shape.
• Find all the same sized shapes.
• Find the different type of shape.

## Super Sleuth Generic Same and Different game

Remember, these Super Sleuth games are progressive. The Generic Same and Different game is more challenging as students have to determine what the shapes have in common and what is different. The questions are generic, meaning that the question does NOT prompted to look at a specific characteristic.

Using the same picture, the Generic version of Super Sleuth will ask these questions:

• Find the shapes that are the same.
• Find the shape that is different.

Below is a quick video of the Super Sleuth Generic Same and Different game:

Note: Students should be familiar and comfortable with the first two Sonic Math Fundamantals games before playing Super Sleuth. Not all preschool and kindergarten students will be ready for Super Sleuth, as this game requires a combination of higher-level skills and asks challenging questions! It also takes practice to build the muscle memory necessary to easily trace the various shapes. It took me (an adult) time and practice to be able to trace these shapes relying only on sonification without looking; although, some preschoolers picked it up much quicker than I did!

## Thoughts

While the Sonic Math Fundamentals app has been designed specifically for BLV preschool and kindergarten students and their sighted peers, this app has the potential to be used by students with multiple disabilities and students with CVI.

I am super excited that students who are blind and low vision now have access to fun games that support preschool/kindergarten concepts – just like their peers! In time, I believe that these early concept games will help students build stronger foundational skills – including tech skills – for students who are blind and low vision. The Sonic Math Fundamentals app clearly demonstrates that it is possible to create fully accessible apps with sonification for content that is typically highly visual. My hope is that Sonic Math Fundamentals will pave the way for mainstream education app developers to embed accessibility into their apps.

## Resources

Sonic Math Fundamentals will be available before school starts in the fall of 2022. It will be part of the full VI curriculum that includes Braille Sheets and AI Tutor.