As a means of making learning fun and motivational, kids reading games can be very effective at teaching early literacy skills, especially when they are part of a broader, systematic reading programme. In order to be truly effective, a reading programme will need to provide instruction in the following core areas of literacy:
A word is rarely just a single sound. Most words are made up of a number of smaller units of sounds, called phonemes. For instance, the simple word ‘cat’ is made up of three phonemes, /c/a/t/. Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate those individual sounds in spoken words in order to use the phonemes like building blocks to make new words.
Reading Eggs concentrates on phonemic awareness early in the programme. Strategies for developing phonemic awareness include reading games and activities that feature:
These lessons engage young readers in activities that help their phonemic awareness to develop and flourish. Later on in the programme, readers listen to words in order to discern the lesson’s focus sound. They work with onsets and rhymes, such as c-at, b-at, r-at, so that they become adept at breaking words into smaller parts. Being able to manipulate phonemes builds phonemic awareness skills, which when combined with phonics, rapidly increases a student’s bank of readable words.
Phonics instruction helps beginning readers to link letters to sounds (phonemes) in order to form letter-sound correspondences and spelling patterns. Children can use this strategy in their reading in order to see how letters and sounds relate.
Reading Eggs uses a synthetic phonics approach with lessons and reading games that map individual letters, or letter combinations, with their appropriate sound. Each letter of the alphabet is introduced in its own lesson, which reinforces the relationship between letters and sounds. It also draws young readers’ attention to the alphabetic principle, the notion that sounds relate directly to the letters of the alphabet.
Fluency enables readers to more quickly span the gap between recognising a word and understanding the meaning. It’s where the magic of reading takes place. Fluent readers spend less time sounding out and decoding words and more time on the meaning of a text. Researchers agree that repetition of reading activities is a very effective strategy for reading more fluently.
The Reading Eggs programme uses a range of strategies for reading fluently, such as:
Demonstrating the fluent reading of a book
Every child approaches reading with differing levels of vocabulary knowledge. Building a child’s bank of known words is a great strategy for improving reading.
Reading Eggs offers focused reading games that help build a child’s vocabulary, but also offers lessons in grammar and spelling as well. This not only builds up vocabulary, but teaches kids how to both spell a word and use the word properly in a sentence. Instruction in these areas is another way that Reading Eggs offers kids great strategies for reading and writing.
Reading Eggs also accommodates children with a wide range of differing abilities; the programme is able to assist readers who may need extra help with vocabulary.
Strategies for assisting readers with text comprehension include teaching children how to:
Answer questions about a text
Ask questions of a text
Monitor their comprehension
Put a jumbled-up text back in order
Recognise story structure.
The ultimate goal of every Reading Eggs lesson and game is getting kids to read real books. Every literacy skill is taught in order to help kids learn to read, and incentives and prizes are offered to help them enjoy the process of learning to read even more.
Reading Eggs offers a range of interactive lessons and kids reading games that are engaging and child-friendly; it is a reading programme that kids love interacting with. The more time spent on-task means kids will quickly advance through the lessons and enjoy greater reading success.
Reading Eggs is great for my preschool aged child who is just learning to read and for my 6-year-old fluent reader. My younger child is engaged by the lessons and also motivated by the games and rewards. A surprise benefit is that his computer and keyboard skills are improving. My 6-year-old uses Reading Eggs for her spelling and basic grammar. She is working on her sequencing and creative writing skills by composing stories on Reading Eggs. Even the games develop reading, maths and logic skills. I really see this as a website we can use from preschool through grade 3 with academic benefit.
- Jennifer Ware
Our students love this site. It is bright, entertaining, engaging and educationally sound. What a fun way to learn to read! They can’t get enough of it and ask regularly “is it our turn on Reading Eggs today?”
- Katrina Kruger, Elliott Heads State School