In 2010 I began learning java programming with the goal of creating a series of mobile apps for literacy education. We know from research that a child’s competence in literacy in early childhood sets the stage for their success in these areas later in life so leveraging mobile technologies to create learning opportunities outside of the classroom is crucial.
The first game that I started working on is a syllable practice game. Though currently developed as a desktop applet I would be very interested in working with another developer to convert this to Glassware. Here is a brief overview of what it is, why it’s important and how it works. At the bottom of the article there’s a link to see the game in action.
Images of game in action
Why are syllables important?
Syllables are the most important to teach for kindergarteners. After students understand that sentences are made of words and words are different lengths, the next important concept for students to understand is that words are divided into syllables, or word parts. Syllable awareness is one component of phonological awareness.
When should it be taught?
Syllable awareness is developed toward the beginning of the phonological awareness sequence of skills. The sequence of phonological awareness skills starts with understanding words in a sentence, recognizing and producing rhymes, and then recognizing and manipulating syllables. Syllable awareness is generally mastered in kindergarten as an auditory skill, but once children start to become familiar with the concept, teachers can introduce letter tiles or squares and manipulate them to form sounds and words.
How it works.
The Syllables Game uses images, audio and animation to introduce learners to syllables and let them practice syllabic awareness. When the student starts the game they are given auditory and visual instruction. Each scene of the game consists of a “How many syllables are in the word…” prompt and one high-quality graphic representation of the word. This simple interface will keep the student focused on the learning content and avoids possible distractions. The student submits their answer by pressing the corresponding number on their keyboard. This creates fun and engaging environment for students to practice identifying syllables at their own pace.
What about Feedback?
Students are given feedback whether the input is correct or incorrect. If they are correct they score points and trophies. If incorrect, the student is asked to try again and a voice sounds out the word for the student. The student does not move on to the next word until they give the correct input. Thus, eventually the student will be given positive reinforcement and be able to move on to the next word.
Play Now! Ms. Starr’s Syllables Game is available in the demo subdirectory of REVADigital.com.