24 Sep 2013
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Superheros help students learn sight words

By Rebecca Wood

With her youngest son struggling at school, Australian mother Anna Occhuzzi turned to the internet for help.

Not finding the tools her son needed to practice and learn his sight words, Occhuzzi took matters into her own hands and developed Superhero Sight Words, an app that allows students to practice reading their sight words in an interactive, fun and exciting way.

Occhuzzi, founder of Play and Learn Education, says her son’s school uses the Magic Sight Words system and, when her youngest son started school, he struggled for many weeks on the first set of words.

“It was then that I started looking on the iTunes store and realised there was not a great deal which was designed for Australia or New Zealand,” she says.

“I decided then to design something which would help my son and, in turn, help countless parents and teachers and give them a practical and fun tool to aid learning. This is when Superhero Sight Words was born.”

Recognising that her son was a visual learner who required repetition to retain information, Superhero Sight Words has the same form of repetition in all areas, with words initially spelt and then sounded out.

The app has 12 levels that aid students in learning and spelling sight words, along with a word find and an interactive fishing game using the sight words.

“It is useful for teachers as the words are sounded out, spelt out and repeated in all areas. Levels do not need to be unlocked and, no matter how many times a student plays the same level, the words are randomised to stop them from memorising the words by its placement,” says Occhuzzi.

Occhuzzi is currently busy in the final testing stages of two further apps that use Dolch and Fry Words, as their basis for helping students learn sight words

Superhero Sight Words is now available in iTunes and through Google Play. See www.playlearneducation.com for further details.

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