Developed by a team at Bangor University, who really understand the learning needs of children with reading difficulties and/or dyslexia, Sounds and Rhymes offers more than 20 games and activities, which build children’s awareness of basic letter sounds and how these correspond to written letters.
A bright, uncluttered interface ensures that the focus is on learning. Graphics and animation add visual interest and reinforce user actions. Sampled speech is used to introduce letter sounds and words, if desired, and teachers can select which sounds are practised in a session. Other options allow teachers to define the overall presentation of the program (sound effects, animations, graphic style).
Each exercise is delivered in short sections, since frequent, brief practice sessions are recommended. Three main areas are covered: vowel sounds, rhymes and consonant blends. Activities encourage children to match vowels to pictures, identify initial vowels and consonants, sort objects into vowel groups, select missing initial and final consonants, match or make rhyming words and identify words which don't rhyme.
Most activities are completed via drag-and-drop, or point-and-click interactivity. Pupils can also key in text to practise the spelling of consonant blends. User feedback reinforces correct answers with a tick and/or a graphic response (a picture fills a space in a grid, for example). If an incorrect answer is selected it simply disappears. If two incorrect responses are made, a new word is presented. In this way, mistakes are never reinforced by negative feedback. A 'Show Me' feature demonstrates how consonant blends are constructed.
Report files record pupils' responses and enable teachers to track progress. These are displayed in a browser and can then be copied into any wordprocessor for printing.