Does Ooka Island Make the Grade?Saturday, December 19, 2015
In the several years that I have been an elementary school teacher and a mother of two, I have come across my fair share of tools and teaching strategies designed to help young children learn to read. Many of these tools had certain characteristics that stood out as effective in building upon the basic skills required to become a fluent reader. When I think of what makes a teaching tool so successful, I think of its ability to appeal to a variety of learning styles, such as visual, auditory and tactile. Combine this with a personalized reading program based on 25 years of research, that also motivates the learner by way of gamification, and you have a unique reading experience that supports the learner in a way that is fun and engaging. Enter Ooka Island, a game-based reading app designed to help build confident readers.
If you've been following along in our Ooka Island adventure, you will recall how much my son enjoys the whole gaming experience. As a parent and a teacher, however, I love it even more. Each week, I receive a progress report that identifies my son's areas of strength and areas where he may be having difficulty. I can also access these reports online and obtain a snapshot of his progress that highlights the amount of time he has spent on Ooka Island, his current book level and how he scored on individual games and comprehension activities. Plus, I can send him a CHEEReader message to encourage him throughout his journey.
Given the educational value of Ooka Island and the creative design and functionality of their iPad app, I have given it 4 1/2 stars out five. I would have given it a full five stars if there were a way of adjusting the settings so that we didn't have to see the intro to every game. You do have the option of clicking on "skip" but I feel it's an unnecessary added step. I would also love to see the addition of new games in future version updates and, if possible, a way to access the library when offline.
Give the Gift of Reading
Share your love of reading with a budding bookworm in your life by gifting them a subscription to learn to read on Ooka Island!
Available now for the web and iOS, so kids PreK to Grade 2 can play and learn anywhere.
The Gift That Lasts a Lifetime
Built on 25 years of research and scientifically proven teaching methods, Ooka Island is a game based reading program designed to help children become confident readers.
Each subscription provides all-inclusive access to 1000's of educational games and 85 eBooks wrapped in a 24-level adventure.
- STARTER SUBSCRIPTION - $39.99 - Gift a 3 month starter subscription to Ooka Island and jumpstart them into reading. An excellent choice for any kid!
- 1 YEAR PROGRAM - $99.99 - Gift a 12 month subscription and watch them become a confident reader! Recommended to complete program.
- 1 YEAR + FIRST LIBRARY - $149.99 - Gift their first paperback library by bundling the One Year Program with a colourful collection of 11 Ooka books!
Disclosure: I am participating in the Ooka Island Blogger Program and have received special perks. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own.