Wordshark at Home
What is Wordshark and how does it work?
Wordshark is a computer program that combines the fun and excitement of bright, multi-sensory games with the serious task of learning to read and spell. It is used widely in schools as well as at home.
The 55 colourful games are carefully designed to teach and reinforce reading and spelling using 9,000 pre-recorded words. You can also add your own word lists which is particularly useful for practising homework. The varied combinations of games and word lists create both variety and motivation.
The program in basic steps:
Step 1. Select a word list or set up your own words...To get to the database of words, click on ‘choose word lists.’ The words are grouped into very specific, carefully prepared list.
Step 2. Click on one of the 55 games icons.... To get to the icons, click on ‘choose games.’ (The words in your list will be applied to that game.)
Step 3. Enjoy playing your game! Then try the reward activity!...
Step 4. Pick a new game!...The 55 games reinforce the words in many different ways.
Step 5. When the words are learnt, choose a new list!
The program comes with an A4 size manual including advice on use of the program. There are also on screen help boxes for every game.
For what ages is it suitable?
Wordshark is mostly used by students between 5 and 15. Some of the games are more suitable for younger children but most games are appropriate for any age.
How will it help someone with dyslexia?
Parents are often recommended Wordshark when they seek extra help for their children’s dyslexia. As a result of dyslexia, children can have a negative attitude towards learning, so Wordshark combines fun and variety to create motivation and as a result, greater confidence.
Wordshark was created by teachers with practical experience of SEN. Both the games and many of the word lists have been specially structured to assist those with any level of dyslexia.
How can Wordshark be used at Home?
Wordshark can either be used directly to support school work and homework (learning class spellings etc) or can be used independently to suit the student’s own pace and needs.
If necessary, the school teacher can be asked to suggest the appropriate word lists for the student.
Once students are set up by the administrator, the program will keep a note of their names and personal settings.
It is recommended that the sessions are short but frequent as this not only maintains the child's interest but gives the necessary practice needed for success.
There are no hard and fast rules, but generally, three or four short sessions a week (about 10-15 minutes each) seem to work really well to achieve significant gains.
It is good to be aware that some children need to go over what seems to be very basic work before moving on in order to make real progress. Equally, some children need to be encouraged to move on.
Parents should always follow the progress of their children and encourage them to try a variety of both reading and spelling games and to progress through the word lists.
There is a special chapter in the manual for parents.
Can Wordshark be used with more than one child?
Yes. The program will allow you to set up a user file for any number of students. They will each be able to work at their own level and keep their personal settings and a record of their progress.
Wordshark can also be used on any number of computers, although the CD does need to be in place during use.
What does Wordshark run on?
The computer will need a CD or DVD drive (or a USB port if the program is purchased on a USB)
PCs need Windows XP, Windows 7 (or Windows 8 - but not in touch screen mode)
Apple Macs need OS X version 10.4 to 10.8
(A microphone is also needed if you would like to record your own words.)