Wordshark at School
What is Wordshark?
Wordshark is a computer program to help you read and spell.
It uses 55 specially designed games to teach and to reinforce reading and spelling using 9,000 pre-recorded words grouped in specially selected word lists. You can also add your own words.
The numerous permutations of games and word lists create both variety and motivation.
Wordshark includes a high quality phonics approach to reading based on 'Letters and Sounds'. Different games include blending sounds into words for reading and also segmenting into sounds and syllables for spelling. All common letter patterns and auditory patterns are covered, also spelling rules, homophones, alphabet and dictionary skills.
The tailored games and structured word lists make Wordshark especially useful for students with dyslexia as well as for general use.
The games are excellent for use on an interactive whiteboard and children enjoy playing the games on the big screen. An on-screen keypad is provided with the program.
The program has an A4 size manual with advice on use of the program. There are also on-screen help boxes for every game as well as pop-up teaching notes.
Variable speeds and other options meet all levels of skill.
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.
There are courses which do not mention ages or levels, which may be helpful for some students.
The variety of games, concepts and words make Wordshark suitable for use in both primary and secondary schools.
How are the words set out?
There are 6 separate courses:
Early years /intervention
1. Letters and Sounds - detailed week by week support for the English Government's synthetic phonic scheme
2. Short phonics course - to compliment other synthetic phonics schemes
3. Alpha to Omega (following the book of that name*)
4. Literacy hour -English Government earlier Framework
5. General course for older users/adults
These 3 alternative structured courses with 6,000 words include spelling and reading using phonemes, words and sentences.
6. Secondary. 3,000 extra words and relevant sentences recorded in 13 curriculum subjects for secondary school use
*Alpha to Omega by Bevé Hornsby & Frula Shear
Can you add your own words?
Yes this can easily be done.
Are records of student activities kept?
Records are kept once students have been added to the system. Records can also be printed out.
Can specific work be set for students?
Once students are added to the system, it's possible to choose the words and games that they can use. This can also be done for groups of students.
What printouts are available with the course?
Sentence work sheets (crossword puzzles), spelling lists and word searches can all be printed out. Flash cards for each list can also be printed. (A4 size down to credit card size).
What is needed to run Wordshark?
PCs need Windows XP, Windows 7 (or Windows 8 - but not in touch screen mode)
Apple Macs need OSX 10.4 to 10.8
Schools should buy a licence based on the required maximum number of students who will use the program at any one time. (concurrent users)
PCs - Network server 2003, 2008R2 are supported
Macs - Network Server OSX 10.4 to 10.8 are supported
We cannot support Hybrid networks (Mac/Windows/Linux/Other)
Single User Version
This version can be installed on and moved between any stand alone computers with CD or DVD drives, but needs the disk in to run. It is not intended for use on networks, many of which will not accept this version.