What A Sight… (words app)

sight words menu

What a great app! I have been looking for just this application for a while and yesterday I found it. It was a great hit with my daughter and I really like it too. Read on to find out why I think this app can help your child to improve their reading skills.

Firstly, this app is not a standalone reading tool. Unless your child has had some introduction to reading before and is able to read or recognise at least some simple words, this will be too difficult. It is also best used as part of a wider program of reading based activities.

The app is called ‘Sight Words 1’. It is available for the iPhone and iPad as well as the Android systems.Visit the developer’s website here. As you can see from the title picture, the app is aimed at early readers. The word list contains a mixture of both phonetically decodable words (such as ‘big’) and tricky words (such as ‘one’). You can choose to work at one level, or to mix the levels. Last night we began with Pre-K and then mixed it with Kindergarten.

You can find a very useful guide to the games here. The games rely on listening and reading recognition. Some are simple matching games, others are computerized pelmanism. There is also a useful flashcards section to help you prepare for or review the words used at your chosen level.

Target words in the games are pronounced in a fairly neutral accent, which I really appreciated. Most words are pronounced clearly and you can tap the speaker button to hear them again. There is also an option to change the letters between capitals and small, or a mixture of the two (first letter capitalized).

After playing around with it together for 15 minutes, I let the sprog at it by herself for 10 minutes. It really captured her interest with its easy to use layout and level-appropriate challenges. I will begin to use this as part of our morning routine once a week with options for playing by herself for a limited time at weekends. I believe it will provide another form of practicing whole word recognition as well as challenging her to recognize written words by requiring her to search for the sound patterns in the printed form (see previous post). Well worth the 175 yen I paid to unlock all levels and games.


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