“But I don’t want to do my sight words. They are boooooorrrrrrring” went the standard complaint from Master B. This has changed recently thanks to two Apps by Sogabee. I’ve already reviewed Sight Words & Spelling with Pixopop, and today I’m happy to be able to tell you about Sight Words Hangman.
- Flash Cards Activity – This works as most Flashcard activities do: swipe the screen to show a word and hear it spoken. If the Quiz mode is turned on, children have the opportunity to attempt the word before tapping the screen to hear it spoken.
- Hang Man Activity – Instead of guessing a correct letter, as in the traditional Hangman game, children must identify the correct word from a choice of four. A Repeat button is available so the word can be listened to again if needed. Correct answers receive positive feedback. Incorrect answers are shaded, a piece of the hangman is revealed, and the child gets to try again. After four incorrect answers, the game finishes. There are no time limits, so children can take the time they need without being penalised. Results are saved and can be reviewed. (See below).
Word lists – Sight Words Hangman comes with 35 lists of words, each with 10 words. There are an additional five lists with Holiday-themed words for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The contents of each list can be seen in the List select screen.
- Difficulty Level – Use the settings to select the difficulty level. The easy level uses random words and the hard level uses words starting with the same letter.
- Voice – words and positive feedback are spoken in a clear and pleasant American Male accent.
- Sound – A fun theme plays on the main screen only. You can’t turn it off or alter the volume, but this isn’t really an issue as the main screen is used only briefly.
- Progress Tracking – View the results to seen when each list has been attempted, which words are recognised, and which words are needing work.
- Simple interface – there are not a lot of “bells and whistles” in this app, making it easy to use. The clear, uncluttered screens make it easier for children to focus on the task at hand, without being distracted by superfluous visual and audible elements.
- Special Needs – while this App is aimed at children in lower primary/elementary school, its graphics would be age-appropriate for older students with special needs. The hangman activity is one of those universal games played by all ages so it won’t seem too childish for older students.
- Safety – There are no in-app purchases or advertising, and no links to social networking or websites. There is one subtle link to Sight Words & Spelling with Pixopop in the iTunes App Store, but it has to be deliberately held down for a few moments before it activates, and it can be easily removed. Children will not be able to activate it by random tapping.
I started thinking of what I’d like to see in this App, and realised that Sogabee had already delivered the features I wanted in Sight Words & Spelling with Pixopop. I like being able to make custom lists to match the lists my children have for their homework, and I like to create individual profiles so I can track the individual progress of my children, and so they can have their own collections of rewards (although there are no collectables rewards in Sight Words Hangman.) Sight Words & Spelling with Pixopop lets you make custom lists and has rewards for the child to collect. Individual profiles are not available with the Pixopop App, but I am told they are looking at this feature for future versions. It would be great if they could add individual profiles to Sight Words Hangman.
Sight Words Hangman makes learning sight words fun for children. A few minutes on the flashcards activity each day will help children learn to recognise their core sight words, and the fun Hangman game will reinforce this. If you already have Sight Words & Spelling with Pixopop, you probably don’t need to get this App (the Pixopop App has versions of both the Flashcard and Hangman activities as well as a spelling activity), but if you are looking for something to take the drudgery out of learning sight words, then Sight Words Hangman is a good choice.
Disclaimer: Marcel Widarto from Sogabee kindly provided me with codes for both Sight Words Hangman and Sight Words & Spelling with Pixopop for review purposes. I am happy to receive App codes for review purposes, however I will give an honest review of each App.