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Speaktacular Sight Words (iOs) Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

Formats: iOs
 
Genre: ,
 
Year:
 
Publisher:
 
Final Score
8.0
8/ 10


User Rating
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We liked?


Gets kids engaged by using the microphone and an interactive monkey friend.

Not so much?


The monkey is a bit slow to respond, which can result in false negatives if kids keep repeating the words over and over - teach them to slow down and wait for Miko.


Final Fiendish Findings?

Throw out your flash cards – there’s a new approach to sight words that will have your kids begging to play (and learn). For kids just starting to learn how to read, memorizing sight words is an important first step on their journey to literacy. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to make practicing those sight […]

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Posted September 17, 2014 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

Throw out your flash cards – there’s a new approach to sight words that will have your kids begging to play (and learn).

For kids just starting to learn how to read, memorizing sight words is an important first step on their journey to literacy. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to make practicing those sight words fun and engaging, and making sure kids enjoy these first steps in learning to read is a vital part of raising kids who love to read. A new app from Sprite Kids combines an innovative use of your iOs device’s microphone with an adorable monkey to try to keep kids motivated and having fun, all while teaching them sight words on a progression from kindergarten level all the way up to third grade.

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As you launch the app, you will be able to create a profile for each of your children, which will keep track of words they’ve mastered as well as flagging those they have trouble with. To keep kids engaged, the kids interact with a cute little monkey named Miko, which helps keep things from straying too much into flashcard territory. Miko sits on a branch with blue skies behind him, blinking his eyes and watching kids curiously. As a word pops up on the screen, a friendly female voice instructs kids to read the word to Miko. If the word is read correctly, Miko will clap for the kids, and if it is read incorrectly he will shake his head sadly and kids can try again. If they try several times and still don’t get it, four words will show up on the screen, and kids can tap the correct word to still count as a success.

Speaktacular Sight Words makes really innovative use of the iOs microphone. Kids first learn the word when it is read to them by the narrator, and then both see it on the screen and repeat it to Miko, reinforcing the words with both vision and sound. Most kids love animals, and Miko is truly adorable. The main issue that we ran across while playing the game is that Miko is a bit too slow in responding to the kids. After a word is read, Miko looks at you, then cocks his head to the side, and then either shakes his head yes or no. It takes a while for him to go through all that, and so my daughter thought she wasn’t getting picked up on the microphone – so she’d say the word over again, which ended up with Miko deeming it incorrect, presumably because she kept repeating. Once we learned to slow down and just wait for Miko’s reaction, it really cut down on the amount of false negatives she got.

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While there’s kid friendly background music and feedback from Miko, reading word after word will get tedious for kids. Speaktacular Sight Words has a fun little mini game feature that really helps keeps kids engaged. After every five words, kids get to put together a little puzzle. In keeping with the jungle theme, the puzzles are fun animals. There are a number of puzzle pieces around the central frame, and kids simply drag and drop to put the puzzle together.

The nice part about this app is that it really does grow with the kids. As they master more and more words, they will be able to keep advancing their skills. The app contains over seven hundred words, including the Dolch Sight Words, Academic Vocabulary word (which are aligned with Common Core), and Trouble Words. This means that your kids will get a lot of use out of this app before they master every word, and they can even do it themselves (a plus for independent kids, and for those times you just aren’t able to participate). Parents (and teachers) can easily keep track of the progress of each kid, right from the app.

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Speaktacular Sight Words is an innovative new approach to getting kids hooked on reading, right from the start. Using an adorable little monkey as a kid perfect hook, the app utilizes your device’s microphone to allow kids to demonstrate their progress to their animal friend – a definite step up from flash cards.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)