"I’d like to recommend a new learning game that is actually fun and easy to play. Word WITT is a simple word building game adaptable across age levels and abilities. The game’s goal is to increase word recognition, knowledge of spelling patterns and reading confidence. This game delivers in a manner my students find to be challenging, as well as entertaining. Unlike current apps and digital games, Word WITT encourages both collaboration and competition. It allows students to experiment and manipulate sounds and symbols to make real words. Most on-line games today are between a player and their screen. But I believe our language is best learned when we interact with each other in real life.
I had the opportunity to pilot Word Witt during the 2017-2018 school year. I teach students with learning disabilities in grades third through fifth grades. The pilot group included students with dyslexia – just beginning to grapple with phonemic awareness, sound/letter correspondence and with more advanced students successfully decoding vowel variants and affixes.
As teachers do, I use many approaches to teaching students with dyslexia. There are numerous on-line sites and apps that practice phonemic awareness, sound blending, and decoding, etc. These resources are most successful with students when a teacher is interacting, correcting and guiding the practice. Students don’t generally play these apps independently.
Word WITT allows students to take the lead, and encourages experimenting with sound/letter combinations by providing cues via 3 vowel dice and consonant cards. There are variable ways to play Word WITT. My third and fourth graders play Word WITT as a center activity. They are able to independently identify sound patterns and, using the consonant cards, create quite long lists of words! The longer the lists the better for them!
My fifth grade students really get into Word Witt! They play one-on-one but have the most fun in team competition. They enthusiastically peruse each other’s list and may even challenge the validity of a word. As a teacher, this is where the real joy of reading comes into play. The conversation we have about word meaning, word origins and variant spelling patterns is quite sophisticated and sparks my students’ confidence! They have become very adept at using on-line research tools and will even use a hardcover dictionary or thesaurus. (For this reason alone I would recommend Word WITT to you!)
But the bottom line for me is that Word WITT is portable, affordable, effective and FUN! I recommend Word WITT to special educators, reading specialists, parents and tutors because while learning to read can be challenging – it should be fun too."
—Maureen S. M.
B.S. Special Education,
M.A. Learning Disabilities