Learning sight words can be a messy process. Like a splattered egg yolk. Yuck!
But a splattered egg yolk can also be fun.
That’s the idea behind “Eggy Words 100 HD,” an educational app from Reading Eggs. It targets the pre-K-through-second-grade crowd and covers the ABCs and includes 100 basic sight words for young readers. The starter app works with most Android and iPad tablets and makes a great addition to classroom tech toolboxes.
Many of the sight words in the app appear in the Dolch word list, which author E.W. Dolch of the University of Illinois compiled in the 1930s. Dolch surveyed popular books for beginning readers to find the most commonly used words (including specific nouns) that 3- to 7-year-olds would quickly recognize. The list is widely used today in many language-reading instruction programs.
Most words in the “Eggy Words 100 HD” app have one to five letters. Studying the words and how they’re spelled can help boost cognitive learning processes among students, including:
- Early reading comprehension
- Letter recognition
- Sight word recognition
Teachers can use the app as an independent study tool for students who need extra help identifying specific sight words used in classroom materials. The games are self-paced, and students can take as long as they need to play them and learn the material.
When starting the app for the first time, it’s important to set the player preferences. From the main page, tap the gear icons in the upper left corner. On the next page that appears, select preferences for voice, music and audio prompts. Then choose the game speed according to the age recommendations listed. Finally, tap the arrow button in the upper left corner to return to the main page.
Enter the gaming area by tapping the “Play” button in the center of the screen. The gaming area is anchored by a colorful outdoor scene with a chicken shack, frozen igloo, lake and several brightly painted eggs. Tap the “How to Play” sign in the middle of the screen for instructions, then tap the left corner arrow to return to the gaming area.
Games must be played in order, starting with the easiest, called the “Chicken Run.” It’s the only game that’s unlocked. A padlock appears over other games and cannot be removed until earlier games are played.
Repetition is the key to learning and memorizing letters and sight words in each game. Launch “Chicken Run” by swiping an onscreen arrow. An alphabet letter appears at the bottom of the screen, confirmed by an audio prompt. Soon a series of colorful painted eggs float across the screen; some are solid, others contain a letter. Students use a finger to tap the egg with the letter that matches the one on the bottom of the screen to earn points.
If they’re wrong? Ugh! A messy egg yolk splatters across the screen, accompanied by a rude sound. Points are lost, and players start again. The goal is to win enough points to unlock the next game, where players use the letters they’ve memorized to identify and spell sight words.
To keep the games moving and players engaged while they learn, the app has several helpful dynamic features:
- Automatic scoring. Points earned unlock higher play levels.
- Background music. Can be toggled on or off in settings.
- Colorful artwork and animation. Keeps players engaged and games moving.
- Confirmation sounds. Warn of wrong answers, new points and new words.
- Voice prompts. Guide players through game setup and offer audio word pronunciation.
Content in the “Eggy Words 100 HD” app is all-inclusive. It includes four levels of play with 25 sight words each. Once it’s been downloaded into a device, all content, alphabet letters, sight words, art, animation, sound effects, voice prompts and automatic scoring will work without an internet connection.
There are no advertisements or registration requirements.
For students who are ready to step up their game, a full version of the app with 250 sight words is available through an in-app purchase. It costs $1.99 and requires an internet connection to buy it.
The “Eggy Words 100 HD” app by Reading Eggs is free. It can be downloaded from iTunes and is compatible with iPad tablets running iOS version 4.3 or later. It’s also available on Google Play and is compatible with digital tablets running the Android operating system 2.2 or later.