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Archive: June 2014

Letter-Sound Matching Game

Play this simple letter sound matching game that helps children match the phonemes to their corresponding graphemes.

Ask the children to call out the name of the object on the image and then the letter sound and match the right ones together.

This is fun way to introduce the different letter-sounds.

For more information on how to play and create this activity go to the Teaching Mama blog.

Teach Your Monster to Read: Case Study

Read how computer teacher Deborah Grmela uses Teach Your Monster to Read in her classroom in Texas, USA.

I teach computer skills to all the Prekindergarten, Kindergarten, and First Grade classes in my school district. This amounts to 500+ students each year. I also only teach these students one day a week for 45 minutes.

As with most schools one of our school district’s goals this year is to improve the reading scores on the standardised tests our students take each year. As I use to be a classroom teacher (Kindergarten and First Grade) I knew that I might be able to help the classroom teachers out if I could figure out a way to incorporate phonics into my computer technology curriculum.

I began researching on the Internet for free (this is an important factor) web based phonics programs. That is how I stumbled upon the Teach Your Monster to Read website. The website was very eye catching and when I tried the website out myself I thought “The kids are going to love this!”

This past Fall, when the new school term began, after reviewing basic computer skills with my First Graders I began letting them use Teach Your Monster to Read. Granted I took the time to introduce the program to the students and got them excited about creating their monster the next week and asked them to think about how they wanted their monster to look. I also told the students that I wanted them to come up with a creative name for their monster.

What fun we all had reading and looking at each other’s creation after I posted them in the hallway for everyone to see. The student’s monsters were still hanging in the hallway when Open House was held. The students were very excited to show their families their monsters. I even had some parents asking me how their child could “do this” at home.

The Teach Your Monster to Read website is very intuitive and engaging and once the student is on the program I rarely “hear” from them. In fact, the students get so involved in the program that they do not want to stop and I have been asked by several of them if they can do this at home. One of my student’s mothers happens to be a Third Grade teacher. When this student began working on Teach Your Monster to Read at home she saw that the program would be a great review for her students and asked the Elementary School Computer Teacher to try to incorporate the TYMtR program in her lab for those students who need extra “reading” help.

When I introduced Teach Your Monster to Read to my First Grade students I hoped that it would be a program that: 1) Reviewed the alphabet letters and sounds that the students were taught in Kindergarten and: 2) Was a springboard in helping students blend those letters and sounds together to begin reading. I believe the program has done that.

I am now using the Teach Your Monster to Read program with my Kindergarten students. At this time of the school year I believe that the Kindergarten students are going through Game 1: First Steps much quicker than their First Grade comrades. After each class time is over I hear students making remarks such as, “I’m on Island #”, “My monster got a reward”, “I am on Island 8 – what happens when I finish?”, and “I’m in Crystal Village!” I think it is great that they think they are playing a game and do not realize they are learning. I get this impression because with excitement they exclaim “I’m on the next level!”

When the students move from Game 1: First Steps to Game 2: Fun With Words, I like to bring them over to my desk where I have the teacher portion of Teach Your Monster to Read pulled up and I show them how they did on their letters and sounds. Some of the classroom teachers have used the results from the teacher portion of Teach Your Monster to Read as documentation of skills mastered.

I personally believe that Teach Your Monster to Read is a program that fits all different types of learning styles as it seems to me that all of my students are learning – from my students labeled “Special Education” to my students who are considered “Gifted”.

Thank you The Usborne Foundation for bringing such a wonderful learning tool to our young learners – for free!

Article by Deborah Grmela, Computer Teacher, Gatesville Primary School, Texas.

I was stunned to see how much they enjoyed this. It blew me away.

Matt Lovegrove, Cippenham Primary School

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Why Play?

  • Covers letters and sounds to reading full sentences.
  • Designed in collaboration with leading academics.
  • Computer version is 100% free.

FAQ

Why is the computer version free?

The game has been funded by the Usborne Foundation, a charity set up to support initiatives to develop early literacy.

Our mission is to help as many children learn to read as possible. The computer version is 100% free and we put profits from the app back into the Usborne Foundation, to continue to create new and exciting ways for children to learn.

The charity was founded by Peter Usborne MBE and his children, Nicola and Martin, one of the world’s leading children’s book publishing companies and Children’s Publisher of the Year 2012. He was previously one of the founders of the magazine Private Eye.

What age is it for?

The game is for children in the first stages of learning to read, or for older children who need a bit more practice. Read more details about the three games.

How do children learn from the game?

The game takes children on a magical journey, meeting colourful characters along the way and collecting fantastic rewards. When children are engaged, they’re motivated to learn.

As they progress, they rehearse a range of essential reading skills; matching letters to sounds, blending, segmenting, tricky words and reading full sentences.

Find out exactly what the game covers.

Will it work on my device?

The game runs on any normal laptop or desktop computer (including Apple Macs) and the app works on iPhone, iPad, Android and Kindle tablets.

Who are The Usborne Foundation?

Peter Usborne is the founder and Managing Director of Usborne Publishing, one of the world’s leading children’s book publishing companies and Children’s Publisher of the Year 2012. He was previously one of the founders of the magazine Private Eye, and was recently awarded an MBE for services to publishing.

Testimonials

"I was stunned to see how much they enjoyed this. It blew me away."

Matt Lovegrove,
Cippenham Primary School

"The kids absolutely love this game - and they're learning!"

John Hole,
Wray Common Primary School

"This is a fun and engaging way to help your child learn to read. My son warmed to the game quickly and didn't want to stop playing it!"

Sarah Fox,
mum to Leon aged 5

This is a fun and engaging way to help your child learn to read. My son warmed to the game quickly and didn't want to stop playing it!

Sarah Fox, mum to Leon aged 5

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