Ooka Island - Review


I recently had the opportunity to try out Ooka Island. I had heard good things about the online program, and I wanted to see if it was something that would work well in my classroom. (I'm thinking workstation possibility).


Well, I don't have access to my classroom kiddos (only 7 more days!), but I do have a couple 3 year old granddaughters I could use as my guinea pigs. Ooka Island is billed as a "Learn to Read Game for Ages 3-7"...so I figured that was reasonable.

Now, there really are a ton of 'reading' websites out there...so I looked into this to make sure it had the stuff to do the job. I found that it's based on research. Ooka Island uses  the Eye/Ear Reading Method-- children learn to use both their visual and auditory skills to master the building blocks of reading. Compared to other reading websites, I thought this was impressive: "The Eye/Ear Reading Method is embedded into the system and includes 562 meticulously scaffolded phonological skill activities and a built-in e-Reader packed with 85 leveled and sequenced Ooka Island e-Books". The method & this program was developed by Dr. Kay MacPhee, whose first reading intervention program was recognized by the US Department of Education’s, What Works Clearing House, as the top program in the U.S. for developing reading comprehension. That carries a lot of weight in my area. What Works Clearing House is highly respected.

I like that the program is very deliberate about activities and the sequence of the activities. Take a look at this graphic. Isn't this what we wish all reading programs did?


SO-- let's get down to the nitty gritty!
How did the program work with my 3-year-old?
  • Engagement - she absolutely LOVES it! She asks often if she can get play Ooka Island, and she definitely focuses and follows along with it.
  • Effectiveness - in the two weeks that we've been playing around with it so far, she has mastered 9 sounds: oo, ee, aw, sh, m, f, p, oy, and s,  & it's added 2 more that she's working on. She's only 3 folks!!
I have decided that this would be an excellent resource to add to my classroom!! Piper has already mastered all of those sounds...in only about two weeks...never playing more than 20 minutes at a time...and not even every day!! I'm excited to think about the difference this can make for some of my kiddos in the classroom!

 
Here are some logistics teachers would want to know:
  • Feedback/Reports - You can access reports that give you data about student progress, and can be viewed for individuals, small groups, and whole class.
  • Ooka Island can be downloaded on multiple computers.
  • Ooka Island also offers offline components as well such as: downloadable book paths, reward certificates, and downloadable books. They also have ebooks and workbooks to complement them.
I'm so excited that Educents currently has Ooka Island for 50% off! That's a great deal! Click to find out more about it at Educents!
 
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