Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2013
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Word Bingo

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Word-recognition practice made fun -- plus cute bugs

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Teachers say (2 Reviews)
$avg_user_learning_rating
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Grades
K-3 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: All four games are colorful, fun, and rewarding.

Cons: Navigating between games isn't always intuitive, especially for younger students.

Bottom Line: Fun games for sight words practice work for a variety of ages, and lots of words keep play engaging.

Playing Word Bingo would be a great reward after a successful quiz or good behavior. Kids'll go crazy for the bugs. Make sure to set the level and settings appropriately, otherwise gameplay may be too hard, too easy, too noisy, or just not suited to the preferences of individual students. For example, in the spelling game, each spelling "hint" is actually the entire word spelled out in shadow for the player. That's too helpful! (This hint feature can be turned off in settings.)

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Word Bingo is a sight word-recognition and spelling game app for kids in kindergarten through third grade. Kids practice sight words as they play a bingo-style word game, a spelling practice game, and two other mini-games. The mini-games are more rapid-fire, arcade-style than the two main games, which play and look more like traditional, focused educational practice games.

First, teachers or students who are readers may tap on How to Play to read Word Bingo's instructions. Then return to the main screen and tap Play. Choose a New Player tab to create a profile, then select a difficulty level, as well as all nouns or all words. Choose one of two main games (Word Bingo or Spelling Practice). For Bingo, a board with words appears. Listen to the word spoken and tap on it. When a row of four words is full, players earn a Bingo Bug. Other mini-games are accessible after kids drill into the app from the main menu. Up to five players (and unlimited guests) can play on one device's app. Word Bingo compiles a scorecard for each registered player, and scorecards are listed by level and by word so kids and their teachers can view their improvements.

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Many of the more than 300 words included on the app were chosen from the Dolch Word List of most commonly used sight words, which is great for budding readers who may encounter them during class time as well. It's easy for kids to play the games, which helpfully include verbal cues.

Parts of navigating this app aren't intuitive, so they may require an initial teacher-led tutorial in how to choose and navigate game options and settings to fend off frustration. Still, the games are fun and easy once a player is set up to play them, the adorable little Bingo Bugs that kids earn are a fun reward, and kids may get some motivation when they view their results page. Nit-picky complaint: At some points, kids are not allowed to use the "x" tab to leave one game and return to the main screen, even though the "x" tab appears. So, while it's not perfectly organized for the smoothest user experience, Math Bingo is still a fun, effective way for kids to practice and track sight words progress.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

From the beginning (when kids immediately personalize the game by creating an avatar) to the end (where they can view a progress report), kids are engaged. The cute bugs don't hurt, either.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

More than 300 words give kids a chance to learn key sight words they'll need for fluent reading. Learning may not be deep, but it covers an important skill.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

Lots of data provided, including a thorough report card where kids can track their progress, as well as a scoreboard for kids to compare their scores.


Common Sense Reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

5
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Featured review by
Ruth O. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Victory Elementary School
Portsmouth, VA
4
Fun Sight Word Practice

I really like this app. It is simple and has game elements which hide (from the students) the fact that it is a simple drill type game. It is perfect for the skill which it addresses. Enough bells ans whistles to get student attention. But the "fun stuff" does not detract from the main thing...identifying words as they are called out.

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