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Sight Words with Samson is a reading program that teaches kids to recognize 224 of the most common words in the English language without sounding them out... to recognize them by sight. There are four levels of words and seven groups of eight words within each level. The words are taught in the order of the groups in each level. To familiarize the player with these words to the point that they can be read instantaneously, the game walks the player through 5 steps for each group: learn words, build words, identify words, a quiz on words, and finally, a word challenge.
Words range from simple-to-sound-out basics like: and, in, is; to more difficult words like: would, laugh, and eight. Although comparable to the commonly used Dolch list of sight words, the collection of words is not identical.
After being drilled by having to spell, identify from a list, and pass a quiz on each of the word groups, the user faces a 'word challenge'. The word challenge uses the word in a sentence. Then below the sentence, there is either a group of words from which to choose the dictated word from or several different attempts to spell the dictated word. The user must choose the correct word or word spelling to move to the next question. This challenge is timed so that users can measure their progress.
The program also includes a wealth of printables, including flashcards, worksheets and lesson plans.
This is a fun program, given its objective. No, it is not as fun as an adventure game, but it does making reading more fun. The animations in the drills and challenges are visually pleasing and light hearted. The game is not too serious / intimidating to beginning readers, so it motivates them to keep playing and in turn, keep improving. Parents who want their children to be proficient readers (hopefully all parents) will like this program. It is most appropriate for beginning readers, ages 4-7.
No installation is required to use this program; it runs directly from the CD, or it can be purchased as an online subscription. The program itself is very intuitive. The menus are clear and instructions are both dictated to the user and in text form on the screen. Although SuperKids has not tested it, Knowledge Wand also offers a web-based version, both for home and school use.
Sight Words with Samson effectively teaches the user to sight read certain words that are easier to just recognize than to sound out every time.
PC: Windows 98 or later, 700 MHz or faster cpu, 256 MB RAM, 4X or faster CD-ROM or via Internet, sound card, .return to top of page
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