‘Sprout Words’ the App Review
Sprout Words, is a new educational app, which aligns with the Australian Curriculum, to assist youngsters in learning the all-important sight words. Sight words are often referred to in Primary School education and, as the most frequently encountered words in the English language, are learnt ‘by sight’ when learning to read. Activities within the app are short, sharp and to the point, captivating the child’s attention, with colourful, child friendly graphics.
How It Works?
After downloading and signing in to the app, individual child profiles can be set up, setting the difficulty level (1-3 stars) and choosing whether or not to use a font that is dyslexic friendly. Once the profiles are set, children can begin playing and learning by entering the barn!
There are six activities in total, which are repeated for each new sight word. There are 300 sight words to learn, spread over 15 levels, with a small revision test for each level to consolidate learning.
The six activities used are:
- Say the word
- Colour the word
- Trace the word
- Spell the word
- Find the word
- Complete the Sentence
A child’s progress can be monitored easily by going into settings and selecting ‘Sprout Progress.’ At the end of each level (after 20 words) the child is asked to identify each sight word they have learnt in that particular level. Words, which have been identified correctly, are highlighted green, whilst those that were not identified are highlighted red. This gives the parent/teacher an indication of which words may need some extra focus.
The child can also see how they are progressing by seeing how many words are highlighted in the barn (they are grouped in lots of 20.) As they are working through the activities, the dots down the bottom of the screen turn green as they learn a new word, working toward having all 20 dots illuminated, before being tested on the words they have just learnt.
Get up and Move Timer
Perhaps one of the most appealing features in this app is the ‘get up and move’ timer. The timer, which goes off after the app has been used for a certain period of time, invites the user to ‘get up and move’ for 60 seconds by wiggling like a worm, hopping long and high like a kangaroo or shaking your jitters out. This is a great reminder for little ones to move regularly when using devices (something which us adults could be reminded of too.)
Benefits of Sprout Words
The Sprout Words app is the perfect accompaniment to additional methods of learning sight words. Each child will have preferred way of learning, and the Sprout Words app caters to that, with the six activities provided. Children can progress through the levels at their own pace, with encouragement voiced when they get the activities correct and a casual ‘oops, try again’ if they don’t quite get it right.
Once the child is familiar with the app (which happens very quickly) they should be able to use it themselves, with minimal/to no assistance, though we do recommend you monitor your child’s device usage. There is also an information button at the top of the app, which can be pressed by the child to provide an extra explanation of the task at hand.
As a parent, I enjoyed that the app was easy for my children to navigate. The fact the activities were repeated for each new word meant that Miss 6 knew what to expect and could confidently complete the activities on her own. The activities allow children to learn in a variety of ways through, tracing, colouring, saying spelling and finding the word. I also appreciated the app was designed specifically with Australian children in mind, using an Australian school font and English (Australian) pronunciation of words. The fact that there are NO in app purchases or advertising is also an added benefit.
Miss 6 liked that you could use different colours to colour in the words (she enjoyed making patterns on the words.) Her favourite activity was the find-a-word. She also loved the get up and move timer, which had he wriggling, jiggling and giggling every time it went off.
Compatible Devices: iPad (required iOS 9.0 or later)
Recommended Age: 3 -8 years
Size: 80.4 MB
As with many apps there are often new releases and updates, so head to the Sprout Words website for further details.
Further information, FAQ’s and more can be found at https://www.sproutwords.com.au/