I know it’s been a while since I said anything about Fast ForWord. Some time ago I posted about the first module my kids did called Language. I thought I should probably also let you know about the 2nd module, Language to Reading. My daughter got 75% of the way through this module.
There are only 5 games in L2R (Language has 7 games) and you do all 5 each session, until you’ve completed all the levels of a game (at that point it greys out when you go to your session menu). The sessions seemed to be longer than Language. I would say it took about an hour to get through the whole thing, where they were on a 45-minute protocol with the Language Module.
Here are the games:
Bug Out: This is comparable to Language’s Phonic Match. It’s a game of concentration where you match sounds. The two changes in this one are the 1) one of the cards will be just a sound and the matching card will have both the sound and the word written out, and 2) they are whole words, not just sounds.
Polar Cop: This is comparable to Flying Farm in the Language Module. But again, instead of sounds you’re dealing with whole words this time. The Cop says a word. A line of penguins go one by one through an x-ray machine and you see the word in their suitcase as well as hear it. You have to click on the penguin that has the same word in his briefcase as was said by the Cop. And you have to be quick about it. You can’t choose the word as the penguin steps off the x-ray machine. You chose correctly but not quickly enough. So, it not only builds your sound/word connection but speeds up that recognition. This game takes the longest to get through.
Start-Up Stories: This has two components 1) Following directions and 2) Language Comprehension. The Following Directions component is comparable to Language’s Block Commander. You get instructions like “Touch the small white kitten and the large black dog.” The Language Comprension component is similar to Language’s ‘Language Comprehension Builder.” You have to select the picture that matches the description given to you by a voice (nothing’s written down). You will hear “The chicken that is little is not eating the corn.” The child has to match that to the correct picture. So she doesn’t choose the chicken that is eating the corn, or the dog that isn’t eating the corn, or the large chicken that isn’t eating the corn. It can get pretty tricky. This is the first game that my daughter completed.
Treasure in the Tomb: This is comparable to Language’s Phoneme Identification. You bang the gong to hear a word. You then see two characters who both show and say a word. You have to select the character that is saying the same word you heard initially.
Trog Walkers: This is comparable to Language’s Circus Sequence. There are two sounds: an upward sweeping whistle and a downwards sweeping whistle. These sounds are designated visually by an upward arrow and a downward arrow. You hear a sequence that combines these sounds and you have to press the arrow keys to match that sequence. So, first instance you will hear, up, down, down, up and have to select the up arrow, down arrow, down arrow, up arrow to correspond to that sequence. The conceit of the game is a character who is in a race with other characters. Your quick and correct answers add fuel and speed to your character. The point my daughter got frustrated was when she got to the 5-whistle level. Which, frankly is REALLY hard. But it’s exactly the kind of thing she needs to train up that working memory and processing speed.
I’ll save my update on how it’s impacted my kids until they’ve completed the reading assessment to determine how it’s improved their reading skills. But there have definitely been some very positive changes. I’ll leave you with that cliffhanger.
Update: I now have a Fast ForWord page where I’ve listed all my posts about Fast ForWord in addition to some other useful links.
I wish that my students could get on fastforword. They are in need of becoming a better readers. These are 9-12 graders who reads on 1-3rd grade levels. Their behaviors are terrible. It appears that society has failed them and they have become angry children. If I could give them some light of encouragement would be wonderful.
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