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Teach Your Monster To Read: First Steps
For beginning readers, Teach Your Monster to Read: First Steps offers a new approach to reading instruction. This website takes kids into a virtual world where they play games to build their knowledge of letter sounds and spelling. As kids play games, they win prizes and travel to new islands and levels.
To play the game, you must sign up for a free account. A demo version is also available if you prefer to try the game before signing up. After signing up, you simply add the name(s) of any children who will play the game on your computer. When children first play the game, they will be instructed to create their own monster to take them through the story.
The premise behind Teach Your Monster to Read is that the monster’s spaceship crashed and he didn’t know how to read the repair manual. To get help fixing the spaceship, players must help the king find specific letters. In exchange for finding the letters, one part of the spaceship is fixed and children receive a prize such as a picture of a cake, a hat or a pair of underwear.
Teach Your Monster To Read
Starting the Game
Players need at least a little bit of knowledge of word sounds to begin playing the game or it will be difficult to begin and it is not immediately clear what children must click on to complete initial tasks. For example, the king asks the player to find words that begin with the “s” sound, but it is not immediately clear that a child must click on a sheep and child who did not connect sheep with the “s” sound would be lost from the beginning.
Once a player gets past the initial phase, most games are easy to play and simply require dragging objects to the correct spaces. Games are also repetitive to ensure children understand the letter sounds and concepts. For example, after children have mastered the “s” sound, they move on to the “a” sound, but the game combines both letter sounds. Children are also introduced to more complex and tricky words as they continue through the game.
Grapheme Grouping Game in Teach Your Monster To Read
Children will enjoy the bright colors, prizes and cheers for getting correct answers as they play the game. The voice of Simon Farnaby from Horrible Histories also makes the game enjoyable for children. Parents and teachers will appreciate the ability to track a child’s progress. The progress screen shows the child’s current grapheme and percentages representing the number of times previous graphemes were guessed correctly.
Once children figure out how to play Teach Your Monster to Read: First Steps, they will enjoy playing games and earning prizes as they learn the building blocks of reading. The limited selection of prizes and repetitive nature of the games may frustrate adults, but varies enough to continue to entertain and motivate the children who will play the game.
June 25, 2012 by Stacy Zeiger
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