Back in May 2013 I used Teach Your Monster to Read with a group of two kindergarten classrooms. The program was a success and I blogged about the ease of use for educators and the enjoyment of the students involved (see original post). Since then I have relocated to a new school within my district and have had the opportunity to introduce the program to eight classrooms at the kindergarten and first grade levels. The response has been overwhelmingly positive! Many features of this program have remained the same as written in my post below but there have been some additional updates that have made the product even better.
The Same (but still fantastic)
- Game 1: First Steps is focused on helping students develop speed and accuracy of letter recognition. The game contains 8 islands each with 4 graphemes to focus on. Students practice these sounds in different game settings and the islands of sounds must be completed in the order they are presented. There is some basic blending practice and a total of 8 "tricky words" are introduced.
- A progress report is maintained for each sound so teachers can easily see how well students mastered them. In the event that a student struggles with a sound it will continue to appear in mini-games later on.
- Students still get to design their monsters and receive rewards for their monsters when they move to new islands.
- Students can still create a poster with information about their monster
- Teach Your Monster to Read has been highly responsive to social media shout-outs! It's fun for our students and educators see a response from a company who's product they enjoy.
New Additions to the Program
- A second game has been added (!) with a third in production to be released in 2015. Game 2: Fun with Words is designed to be completed after Game 1 is complete. This game has 7 villages (as opposed to Game 1 islands) and introduces new graphemes with lots of blending practice. Instead of collecting rewards for completing each level students now collect stars that can be used to buy clothing and accessories for monsters. This second game is chock full of "tricky words"- 30 to be exact. There is an introduction to reading and comprehension of sentences such as "Can you get her red hat" and "Can you get me some chips?".
- An iPad app is available but the web-based version remains free
- A great addition for teachers is the ability to print ALL student parent letters, passwords and posters in bulk. Before you had to select each individual student to print posters but now the entire class set can be printed as one PDF. This feature is a welcome addition.
I've enjoyed being able to introduce this program to new students and educators and have been pleased with their response to it. Give it a try!
Recently I went back in and recorded the students' voices talking about their monsters! I generated QR codes that link directly to these recordings. Great way for parents to be able to hear audio!
Thanks to @MonstersCanRead for listening!