Wordshark includes everything that primary school students need in order to achieve their spelling targets. It’s perfect for any age or ability, from Year 1 students struggling with cvc words to the gifted and talented in Year 6.
The program has enduring appeal – students enjoy the variety of activities and the reward games.
A few of the benefits and features:
- Everything needed for Key Stages 1 and 2 – the database of structured words lists/courses covers synthetic phonics, spelling rules, prefixes and suffixes, homophones and more
- Ideal for planning weekly spellings and homework – spelling patterns and rules are introduced in a systematic way
- Perfect for EAL students – children that are completely new to English can work straightaway, for example, on the ‘Everyday Vocabulary’ lists
- The placement test and automatic progression help both teachers and students – saving teacher time, while students can work independently, at their own ability level, gaining confidence at school and at home
- Unlimited teacher accounts – all staff can use the program including subject/class teachers working on specific topics
- Option to create your own word lists – make Wordshark your own!
- Variety and flexibility make Wordshark suitable for every child –
- lots of fun games to choose from!
- access 10,000 words & sentences
- adapt Wordshark to exact requirements – using automatic progression or set work, and choosing the relevant settings for each child/group
Progress reports are available on screen or as a pdf. They can be based on students using automatic progression or set work. Students can see their own progress too by looking at ‘my progress’.
When setting work, courses available include:
- Wordshark course – a general spelling course starting with letter sounds and simple words, which continues systematically to long, difficult words.
- Curriculum 2014 England: spellings – follows the English government’s spellings for KS1 and KS2 – including the statutory lists, and practice for the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check.
- ‘Alpha to Omega’ – follows the progression found in the book ‘Alpha to Omega’ by Bevé Hornsby and Frula Shear.
- Everyday vocabulary lists – useful for EAL. Set 1 has the simplest of greetings, colours, numbers etc. Set 2 introduces extra words and simple sentences. Set 3 provides many more words and uses them in both simple and more complex sentences.
- High Frequency Words (HFW) – gives comprehensive lists of common words most often needed for children’s reading and writing.
Tips for using Wordshark with the younger students
- A whole class session with the program on a white board can really help so that they can familiarise themselves with the games. It’s a good idea to point out the option for a game description to be spoken out loud using the speaker icon.
- One game particularly worth showing is ‘Wordsearch’ as many students get confused about what’s happening when they select the wrong letter; when this happens, they need to de-select the wrong letter before they have another go.
I am a teacher in a mainstream primary school. I use Wordshark and Numbershark with the children in my class who have literacy difficulties and/or number difficulties. I have found that even children currently on p scales (I teach year 2) can access the program and make progress. I find that because of the simple interface these children learn to work independently on the computer and this enables them to progress without extra teaching assistant support which is often difficult to secure. The program moves them on in the their learning because it gives them exercises at their level. The letter tracking (and number recognition in Numbershark) games are particularly good. I think it is the best program I have found. The progression is fantastic. So the program starts at a very basic level suitable for children working towards L1 and it continues to secondary level. They use NC and letters and sounds units – makes it fit perfectly into the class work that I am teaching. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
My pupils look forward to reinforcing their class topic at the end of their lesson. The new version is very popular. They all use the ‘icon’ and personal sprite. The options to personalise the maze etc is also brilliant!
I became quite an ambassador for Wordshark/Numbershark (at my old school) It’s been a real joy to be able to personalise the spellings with this tool. It also engages the child and they learn without realising it.
I have been using Wordshark and Numbershark for the past 6 years in 4 different schools and absolutely love them. My students love them too. It is the most pedagogically sound software I have come across to support reading, spelling and number concepts. It is a perfect complement to various curriculums and makes individualising for students and monitoring student progress easy for teachers!
We use Wordshark as a lunchtime club at the moment. We have children from year 3 to year 6 who attend two lunchtime sessions per week. We focus on the Middle ability groups who need reassuring and a confidence boost. The students love the different tasks and are always eager to attend a session. We also found that as well as helping to improve their spelling and reading ability it helps their computing skills and concentration.