Practice! Practice and even more practice! The adorable Melvin from the television show Gisele’s Big Backyard is here to help your little learner begin to recognize and read his/her high frequency sight words. Melvin uses the approach of a memory card game as a way to read those sight words that a user will see while reading books and being out and about with family. You might notice that as you succeed from one stage to another, the number of cards that you have to flip over increases. Those words that repeat from one level to the next are considered the high frequency words. Overall, the application is definitely worth it but I think the next version of Melvin’s Marvelous Words should consider adding a few things. Here are some ideas/questions from the standpoint of a parent and also an educator that I think would make this application “pop” from all the other sight word applications:
QUESTIONS: At what point does the game end? How many levels of sight words are present in this application? Would it be possible to implement a progress report for parents and/or teachers?
IDEAS: Incorporating a variety of activities other than the memory game would really hit home for those new readers. Students who are just learning to read need some kind of structure. Starting with the memory game is a great place to begin but why not step it up as they become more successful or to just “test” how they are doing. This would really make this application even more content driven. These are some of my thoughts about what’s of interest to my own little critic and what teachers are asking for:
- Have someone (developer) read the word and ask the user to use their finger to write the word that they hear. If the user wrote the word correctly, the application would generate some kind of visual reinforcement to show them that they were correct.
- Interactive flashcards that allow the user to select one letter at a time to hear the sound. For example, the sight word is “am”. User selects the A and hears the sound that it makes, then selects the M and the sound that it makes. Once all letters have been selected have the user highlight over the entire word hearing the two sounds together.
Melvin’s Marvelous Words is a great starting point for your little learner. Be sure to learn more about TVO by visiting their site – http://www.tvokids.com/. If you are interested in downloading this FREE application, please click here.