The data-collection system works best when one kid plays. Fortunately, teachers can create multiple user accounts, so kids can progress at their own pace. The game has very little actual instruction, so it’s best used with kids who already have some foundation but need extra help. Stronger readers may appreciate testing their skills and figuring out the puzzles (e.g., How can I launch the fish to collect the most stars?). Teachers can see progress reports that detail which concepts each student has mastered -- letter-sound correspondence, reading short-vowel words, and substituting sounds in short-vowel words -- then use those reports to see how kids are doing and to target in-class teaching moments. Kids who focus on the puzzle aspect might enjoy sharing techniques and strategies with others.Continue reading Show less
Editor's Note: Sky Fish Phonics is no longer available.
Sky Fish Phonics combines logical problem-solving puzzles (think Where's My Water? or Cut the Rope) with multiple-choice, basic reading-skills questions. Kids choose a costume and tap a succession of machines to launch a fish through an increasingly complex obstacle course, answering phonics questions and collecting stars along the way. Kids might be asked, for example, to choose which picture represents a word that starts with the letter A, or to choose the picture that matches a target word. The game collects data on how kids respond to deliver just the right material for each kid. Phonics questions address letter recognition, letter-sound correspondence, consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words, and changing letters in CVC words to make different words. The more kids play, the more costume choices become available to them.
Sky Fish definitely has a high fun factor and a sound approach to learning. The progression of phonics topics is well thought out, and the adaptability ensures that kids progress at their own pace. Kids can always tap pictures, words, or letters to hear them pronounced and use that help to figure out the right answer. Yet, they might benefit from more direct instruction as well. When kids make the wrong choice, they hear the correct answer and are sent back to the beginning of the level. The next time, the question is completely different. Kids who don't get it will likely fumble their way through, not really understanding how to choose the right answer. The obstacle-course aspect is fun and exercises a unique set of logical reasoning skills, but is entirely unrelated to the learning-to-read theme. For some kids, this game element could be a distraction.
Key Standards Supported
Reading Foundational Skills
Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words.
Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary or many of the most frequent sound for each consonant.
Distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying the sounds of the letters that differ.
Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonent-vowel-consonent, or CVC) words.* (This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/.)
Add or substitute individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one-syllable words to make new words.