Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Heads Up! is a company that sells a unique combination of products geared towards children with special needs. I was sent several color panels to review. Heads Up! Calls these reading aids and are available in these stylesl: Frames, Readers, Double -Time, Top of the Line. My first impression was … "What is this??"
The strips of color intrigued me. I immediately used them to look at a book I was reading. (The viewing was easier after my daughter -who is very observant- discovered a sheet of clear protective coating and peeled that off. I hope that it was supposed to come off!) I suspect I read slower and with more difficulty than many people I know, though I enjoy reading. I was very shocked and surprised when the blue colored panels did improve the way I saw the page.
Also, my eyes will sometimes wonder or I will lose my place. My attention was focused where it needed to be. It did improve my reading speed and focus for sure! Next I shared them with my son who is in 5th grade and has issues with reading and also staying on task. He also found the blue color to work the best for him. My left handed son chose Green. In fact all my children who read found they preferred reading through a particular color. Several distinctly disliked the yellow and orange. Blue seemed the most popular.
I wouldn't consider most of my children to be "special needs" and I would not have known that a product like this might help my children, so I was pleasantly surprised.
I wish the product had some weight to help hold the book open or keep it in place if interrupted for a while. It got me wondering if there was a light magnet on both sides would it work even better? Or what if they were wrapped around the book and held it open as well as framed the areas that were needed? However, at $1 a piece the price is right and any modifications would - obviously- make them less affordable to others.
I also found myself using them as bookmarkers in the books my 5th grade son reads. He keeps one with him and also used the frames for math problems. My 5 year old will also ask to use the frames or readers with his school. I am glad the kids like to use them.
I strongly recommend looking on the Heads Up! Site . There might be something that will aid you in your teaching program.