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WordShark 5

wordshark 5

What is WordShark?

WordShark is a computer program that combines the fun and excitement of bright, multi-sensory games with the serious task of learning to read and spell.

It is used widely in schools as well as at home.

wordshark 5

More than 60 colourful games have been designed by teachers to teach and reinforce reading and spelling using over 10,000 pre-recorded words.

You can also add your own word lists which are particularly useful for practising homework.

The varied combinations of games and word lists create both variety and motivation.

The program includes a high quality phonics approach which is available for the majority of the word lists. Different games include blending sounds into words for reading and also segmenting into sounds and syllables for spelling. All common letter patterns and auditory patterns are covered, also spelling rules, syllable work for longer words, homophones, and alphabet and dictionary skills.

The tailored games and structured word lists make WordShark especially useful for students with dyslexia as well as for general use.

The games are excellent for use on an interactive whiteboard and children enjoy playing the games on the big screen. An on-screen keypad is provided with the program.

WordShark comes with a printed introductory manual. The full manual can be printed from the program. There are also video tutorials, on-screen help for all games, tooltips and teaching notes.

Variable speeds and other options meet all levels of skill.

The program in basic steps:

Step 1. Select a word list or set up your own words…To get to the database of words, click on ‘Change word list.’ The words are grouped into specific, carefully structured lists.

Step 2. Choose one of the games icons…. To find these, click on ‘choose game.’ (The words in your list will appear in that game.)

Step 3. Play the game! Then try the reward activity…

Step 4. Play again or pick a new game…The different games reinforce the words in various ways.

Step 5. When the words are learnt, choose a new list.

The program comes with an introductory manual. Printable resources include a full manual with advice on how to use the program. Video tutorials and on-screen help are also provided.

For what ages is it suitable?

WordShark is mostly used by students between 5 and 15. Some of the games are more suitable for younger children but many games are appropriate for any age.

How are the words set out?

Teachers have a very wide set of word lists to choose from, grouped into courses. Several can be worked through in sequence – or dipped into as needed.

Specific courses include:

  • An easy-to-follow course to support the 2014 UK national curriculum spellings
  • The WordShark course (default) – a structured sequential course
  • Everyday vocabulary lists (especially useful for EAL)
  • Secondary school subject lists
  • High frequency words
  • A course to support ‘Letters and Sounds’ in the UK government phonics program
  • A course that follows the structure of the book Alpha to Omega, by Beve Hornsby, Frula Shear and Julie Pool, ed. (and author), 5th Rev.Ed., 1999, Heinemann
  • An alphabet and dictionary skills course

Can you add your own words?

Yes this can easily be done. You can also add your own images, definitions or translations to your word list.

Are records of student activities kept?

Records (printable) are kept once students have been added to the system. A facility is available to track specific progress.

Can specific work be set for students?

Once students are added to the system, it’s possible to choose the words and games that they can use. This can also be done for groups of students.

What printouts are available with the course?

Sentence work sheets (crossword puzzles), spelling lists and word searches can all be printed out. Flash cards for each list can also be printed. (A4 size down to credit card size).

How will it help someone with dyslexia?

Parents are often recommended WordShark when they seek extra help for their children’s dyslexia. As a result of dyslexia, children can have a negative attitude towards learning, so WordShark combines fun and variety to create motivation and as a result, greater confidence.

WordShark was created by teachers with practical experience of Special Educational Needs. Both the games and many of the word lists have been specially structured to assist those with any level of dyslexia.

How can WordShark be used at Home?

wordshark 5

WordShark can either be used directly to support school work and homework (learning class spellings etc) or can be used independently to suit the student’s own pace and needs.

If necessary, the school teacher can be asked to suggest the appropriate word lists for the student. Once students are set up by the administrator, the program will keep a note of their names and personal settings.

It is recommended that the sessions are short but frequent as this not only maintains the child’s interest but gives the necessary practice needed for success.

There are no hard and fast rules, but generally, three or four short sessions a week (about 10-15 minutes each) seem to work really well, to achieve significant gains.

Some children will need to repeatedly go over what seems to be very basic work before moving on, in order to make real progress. Equally, some children need to be encouraged to move on.

Parents should always follow the progress of their children in using WordShark – encouraging them to try the recommended games (both for reading and spelling) and to move on through the word lists.

There is a special chapter for parents, in the manual within the program.

Can WordShark be used with more than one child?

Yes. The program will allow you to set up user files for any number of students. They will each be able to work at their own level and keep their personal settings and a record of their progress.

WordShark can be used on any number of computers, although the DVD/USB needs to be in place during use.

What is needed to run WordShark?

  • Operating systems: PCs need Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8 Apple Macs need OSX 10.6 to 10.9
  • Networks: Schools should buy a licence based on the required maximum number of students who will use the program at any one time. (concurrent users) PCs – Network server 2003, 2008R2, 2012, 2012R2 are supported
  • Single User DVD or USB: With the ‘Single User’ version, the DVD or USB has to be in place for the program to run, but can be moved between/used on any compatible computer. ‘Single User’ DVDs/USBs are not intended for use on networks, many of which will not accept this version.

What is the benefit of the USB Version?

The USB flash drive edition has distinct advantages over CDROM media in that student records are stored on the USB flash drive rather than on the working PC’s hard drive, which increases the portability of the program. The flash memory media is also applicable to netbooks and other devices which do not have CD drives, but generally have USB ports available.


Price: $242.00

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