Bouncy the People Trainer's You Can Learn - Teacher Edition by Ripple Effects is a delightful app that is labeled as “A Mindset Training Program for Early Learners” It not only teaches the power of believing in oneself by explaining persistence but also provides emotional comfort for all who struggle with accomplishing a goal. This program’s message is delivered in 5 episodes that have a myriad of supportive activities. The main character is an adorable pup that had an abusive past and is missing a leg limiting his abilities to achieve his goal of walking on a balance beam. He is immediately relatable and gives kids something to hold onto in regards to his aspirations and how he goes about achieving his goals. There is an accompanied teacher’s guide and curriculum that is simply stellar. Based on the Whole Spectrum Intervention System, the Mindset Theory Base, Ripple Effect’s approach has been researched and tested. It is a complete learning and assessment program that identifies struggling students and ways to help them cope with oncoming obstacles and stress. The targeted audience is 4-6-year-olds, but feel that it could be broadened to reach both younger and older kids, based on where they are functioning. Sometimes “lowering the bar” so to speak, can bring kids to a level of achievement quickly without adding additional stress. Included in the teacher’s edition, is a Data Manager and tracker, Web-based Resources, the “Born for Greatness” e-book, a self-reporting tool “The HowMuch-O-Meter” (separate download) that measures a student’s growth over time, and extension activities for home and school. There is also a free app for home use.
On opening kid’s can outfit their avatar for that day’s play. Kids can choose between physical attributes and clothing. Once that is settled, there are seven activities that illustrate the main concept for the lesson using multi-sensory approaches appropriate for any learner. The lessons here talk about coordination of mind, body, and heart into achieving one’s goals. My only wishes for the app are that I would love to know about how Bouncy got his prosthesis, have the Bouncy Story as a separate e-book, but my biggest wish would be to have a stuffed Bouncy dog for kids to hold onto or sit with when feeling down or when working with the teacher or parent. The seven activities included are:
- What If? – What If? describes a situation and children must select how they would feel in like situations. This is a great way to introduce empathy through experience.
- I Remember – I Remember is the story of bouncy and how he began to believe in himself and try new experiences.
- You Star – You Star introduces the concept of the current lesson, beginning with simple self-affirming statements and continuing through visualization and persistence.
- Kids Show – Kids Show offers a short video on applying the unit’s lesson in everyday life. This is really great to see how the lesson plays out in real life and, therefore, ensures generalization of the key principle in the lesson.
- Art – In Art, kids write/trace the reaffirming statement to make it real and wire it in both our body and mind. Kids then frame it where it’s placed on their virtual bedroom wall.
- Music – In Music, play the drums and become in sync with this catchy tune to keep trying.
- Got it – In Got It, kids answer a series of questions to display how well they integrated the material. There is a 50% chance of it being correct, and if wrong, kids are encouraged to try again.
Once all the activities are completed, there is a short video of a dog and what he likes. Kids are then awarded a merit badge for completing the lesson. The book, “Born for Greatness” can either be ordered online in hardcover or read from the teacher’s edition. It is a book on the life and messages from the Dalai Lama. It tells about his struggles to study, and Bouncy relates the beginning of his story here too. The complete book on Bouncy will be out next year according to the website, and one that I will be looking forward to reading. The website is exceptional and provides background, coloring pages, and ideas for activities.
Bouncy the People Trainer is a must have an app to support the overall health and welfare of kids. It is COPPA compliant. The things that really impressed me is how much kids are in control of the lessons, allowing time for processing and integrating the material. The material is accessible and delivered in a manner that does not talk down to kids. Using Bouncy as the lead character is a genius, and the message he presents is timeless and always appropriate. This is definitely a TWA Top Pick, and something to place in the curriculum for all kids.
Jo Booth OTR/L has been an Occupational Therapist for over 35 years, and currently practices at EasterSeals of SEPA, Montgomery County Division mainly focusing on Early Intervention. It is an APS (Approved Private School) and home outreach based setting. She has also worked in Adolescent and Adult Rehabilitation. Writing reviews for Teachers With Apps have been a tremendous opportunity and experience to share and learn with others.