2/28/12

TOS Review: Reading Eggs

I am always on the look out for educational activities that Supergirl can do independently.  Recently, through the TOS Review Crew, I was introduced to an online reading program called Reading Eggs.

From the About Page: The Reading Eggs program is a unique online world where children learn to read. It offers individual, one-on-one lessons that allow children to progress at their own rate. Developed by a team of teachers, writers and developers, the Reading Eggs program focuses on a core reading curriculum of phonics and sight words using skills and strategies essential for sustained reading success.

Because Supergirl has had some reading instruction, we started with the placement test/assessment.  She placed at the beginning of Map 6 (Lesson 51).   I was frustrated with the placement test.  With many of the questions she could figure out the answer without truly having to read.  I felt it was more of an assessment of test taking skills. There was one question that truly bothered me, however.  The program displayed pictures of 3 objects and asked her to click on the object that begin with the [short sound of o].   She couldn’t not figure it out.  I could not figure it out.  None of the pictures started with the short sound of o. The answer?  ORANGE.  This was my first indication that this program does not use American English.  In other phonic based program or is a separate phonogram because it is an r controlled vowel. 

Here is a screen shot of one of the questions from the placement test.

 

Each lesson is comprised of several activities (usually 12).  Every lesson starts with an introduction and ends with a story.  The activities vary from lesson to lesson.  Here is a screen shot of one activity.

Here are a few things I didn’t really care for:

  • using orange as the key object for the short sound of o
  • using “word families” .  I really dislike presenting phonics in a ladder style.  "ot”, “ut”,  “og”  I especially disliked seeing “ut” as the target and seeing words like “mutt” and “putt”
  • not all of the activities have a “repeat audio” button.  Sometimes my daughter needs the sentence repeated again in order to get the words in the correct order.
  • moves too quickly.  I’m not sure how well my daughter is really retaining the material and applying the skills in other areas.  [Note: you can repeat activities.  My daughter just doesn’t like to “go backwards.”  She wants to keep moving forward]
  • claims to support what we are doing in school however we are not using a “word family approach” so, although fun, doesn’t really match up with what she is doing with her regular curriculum.
  • it can sometimes be difficult to tell what the picture is (for example the picture for laugh doesn’t look like the person is laughing but the picture for draw, the person is laughing while she draws.)
  • In the Skills Bank, the student can do spelling lessons, I didn’t like the activity that requires you to read the sentence in order to choose the correct word.  The sentences were above her reading level (I had a <blank> bite of apple.)  The spelling word is big.  She’s not at the reading level to read bite or apple. 

Here are some aspects I really like:

  • the activities are short
  • the activities are fun
  • for the most part Supergirl enjoys using Reading Eggs.
  • though it doesn’t line up with our regular curriculum it hasn’t interfered with it or caused confusion.
  • Reading Eggs uses a blend of phonics and whole words/sight words.
  • If a student doesn’t meet some minimal requirement, the program will have them repeat the activity.  I like that it doesn’t just move to the next activity; Supergirl has to meet a standard.
  • I like the emailed reports. 

Our Experience with Reading Eggs Reading Lessons: We’ve been using Reading Eggs 2 to 3 times a week. Supergirl has fine motor skill issues which sometimes affects her ability to use the mouse efficiently.  This didn’t prevent her from having success but it did mean that sometimes it was easier if I sat with her and she pointed at the screen while I worked the mouse.   She really enjoys the activities of the lessons and hasn’t been interested in the other areas of the map.  She likes working through the lessons to hatch the critters.  For her that is her reward.  As you can see  from this screen shot, there is more available than just the reading lessons.

Reading Eggs start up page

We just discovered the Skills Bank where Supergirl can tackle spelling lessons.  I’ve been wanting to get her to try the Driving Lessons but so far she really prefers to just click on the my lessons and get to hatching those critters.

Overall, I think this program works well as a supplementary fill in.   Because of I prefer a different approach to teaching reading,  I wouldn’t be comfortable using this program as Supergirl’s only reading instruction. 

A 14 Day Free Trail is available.  Subscriptions begin at $9.95 a month with 6-month and 12 month subscriptions available as well.  In addition Reading Eggs offers a 50% multi child discount for the second student when purchasing a 6 or 12 month subscription at the same time.

For older children, there is Reading Eggspress which builds reading comprehension skills.  Some of my crew mates used Reading Eggspress with their children.  Others using Reading Eggs. Click on the banner below to read what my fellow crew mates had to say. PhotobucketAll information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received a 3 month subscription free of charge to review. This review is my honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no compensation.

1 comment:

  1. My child has been using Reading Eggs, and is now ready for "Press". I really hope she does alright, it was a bit of a challenge at the end.
    Cathrine :)

    ReplyDelete