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Beginning Sounds Interactive Game
Pros: Bright pictures and fun sound effects entertain kids as they learn words.
Cons: Limited word selection keeps kids from building advanced skills.
Bottom Line: Kids can build a good base of beginning letter sounds and related words but will need opportunities to expand their knowledge.
Teachers can use Beginning Sounds to introduce students to common letter sounds. They may ask students to play the game on their own and focus on specific beginning sounds before a more in-depth lesson or activity that incorporates those sounds. It can also serve as a whole-class review game or time-filler, having students work together to quickly sort the letter sounds.
Students select three pictures that represent beginning letter sounds and start the game. They must then correctly sort a group of nine pictures into columns representing the three letter sounds they selected. For example, students may choose pictures of a fish, a hat, and a monkey. They will then see pictures of the number four, mice, a hive, a fan, a map, a horse, a fire, a mask, and a hand. Correctly sorting the pictures earns them a cheer and a chance to play again -- choosing new sounds, sticking with the same sounds, or letting the app choose the sounds for them. No matter what sounds they choose, the game remains the same.
Cute, colorful pictures and fun sound effects draw kids in. With their interest piqued, they can start exploring the beginning letter sounds. As kids play the game, they will build a basic base of 18 beginning sounds and four words that start with each sound. While they will connect the words with the sounds, the lack of text in the game may prevent students from connecting the beginning sounds with the letters that produce those sounds. They will also have little reason to return to a sound once they have successfully sorted the words. No matter how many times students choose a beginning letter sound, the words they learn are the same. Kids would get more out of the experience if they received a different selection of words every time they chose a specific beginning sound.