Smiley Sight Words

Common Sense Media says

Hundreds of learn-to-read flash cards, good customization.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Kids using the app and parents adjusting the settings should both find the app easy to use.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Smiley Sight Words can be used to drill children on over 1,500 common English words. Parents can check progress reports after each play session. Kids (or parents) can mark each word with a smiley or frowny face as they work through the flash cards (be aware that kids super sensitive to negative feedback might not like the frowny face as a motivating tool). There are several different decks of virtual flash cards here, arranged in up to 40 levels of difficulty. One of the decks features UK spellings, so be aware of that. Parents can also create custom decks.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • naming

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Moderately engaging. It would be an improvement to include images on the cards as visual prompts. The smiley and frowny faces and kids profile photos are the only visuals in addition to the sight words.

Learning Approach

Kids can learn to recognize and read thousands of words on Smiley Sight Words. Smiley and frowny faces on each flash card indicate word mastery (or not). Words are organized into more than 40 levels.

Support

Many ways to customize sight words practice here, as well as the ability to track progress, remove already-mastered words, and even create a custom deck. After a round of words is complete, kids can see their learning data.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • naming

Kids can learn to recognize and read thousands of words on Smiley Sight Words. Kids see and hear each word on the virtual flash cards. Smiley and frowny faces on each card indicate word mastery (or not). It would be an improvement to have the option to include images on the cards as visual prompts, especially since most tech-savvy kids expect at least some interesting visual elements on apps. Still, the words are organized into more than 40 levels, and the app's settings can be used to adapt the word lists in numerous ways. Smiley Sight Words is a good, comprehensive resource for learning words.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

Kids or parents start at level one of the sight words or choose a specific set of words to practice such as shapes, nouns, days of the week, and Dolch. Once kids read the word out loud or, if they cannot read it, tap on the word to hear it spoken aloud, they tap on a smiley or frowny face to log it correct or incorrect. Kids shake the device or double tap the screen to re-shuffle the cards. After a round of words is complete (most rounds have 20-40 words, more or less), kids can see their learning data.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

If you're seeking a set of virtual flash cards with which to drill your child on reading common words, SMILEY SIGHT WORDS might be the best you can get. It's got over 1,500 words arranged into five decks, each with multiple levels of difficulty. Kids can interact with the words, tapping to hear them aloud and marking them with either a smiley or frowny face. They can also shuffle the deck with a shake of the device. Parents have a lot of control here with the ability to track progress, remove already-mastered words, and even create a custom deck. Up to 40 kids can each have their own profiles on the app.

Families can talk about...

  • Assign verbal statements to the smiley and frowny faces to put a positive spin on the sad ones. For example, the frowny face could be saying, "Keep working on it," or "Oops! Try again."

  • Encourage your child to use the words in a sentence to reinforce learning and provide reading clues.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$.99
Release date:June 16, 2012
Category:Education
Size:23.60 MB
Publisher:24x7 Digital
Version:2.0.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.0 or later

This review of Smiley Sight Words was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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