Personalized Learning

New Kindergarten Readiness Program Allows Automated Progression for Preschoolers

A new kindergarten readiness software program allows children to automatically progress toward more advanced skills while following a story and playing games.

Hatch Early Learning's new Shell Squad Adventures teaches 18 core early literacy and math skills as it determines each child's individual learning level in real time.

The software program is available on the company's own Hatch Tablets, its All-in-One computers and iPads. It is delivered on the company's iStartSmart Elite Learning Solution, which includes a report management system that allows administrators to monitor performance in all classrooms in a school or all the schools in a district.

Shell Squad Adventures has a story line that features two animated characters, Luna the mother and Orwell the owl. They join three other characters children might be familiar with if they have used an earlier Hatch program, Shell Squad Games, which focuses on early math and literacy concepts such as sorting, letter recognition and early vocabulary lessons: Henry the chick, Platty the platypus and Cami the chameleon.

The characters go on a journey through 18 worlds — corresponding with the 18 core literacy and math skills — in order to help Orwell the owl find missing artifacts for a museum.

The program also features:

  • A blended intrinsic and extrinsic motivation system for eight skills;
  • A storyline designed to help children develop empathy as the characters solve their problems;
  • A way for children to develop a sense of story with beginnings, middles and endings;
  • A log-in that allows each child independent access by selecting their own picture;
  • Progression rules designed to help the child progress to more complex skills without teacher intervention;
  • An animated tutorial; and
  • A speech pathologist who pronounces words and sounds when appropriate.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.