Tool Factory has announced the launch of SpellTrack for reading intervention. SpellTrack is designed to help students to improve their spelling and have fun at the same time, according to the announcement. The program combines learning to spell with the left-to-right tracking fundamentals of reading and writing. Part of the On Track Series, Spell Track is composed of self-paced activities, unique word lists, and reinforcement.
After logging in, students find themselves at a brightly colored desktop where they can choose one of two tasks: "Learn the Words" or "Test Yourself." In "Learn the Words," the program briefly flashes a word on the screen while clearly pronouncing it over the speakers. The word disappears and is replaced by a jumbled string of letters. The student spells the word by clicking on the letters in order and an animated pen circles each letter chosen. A correct spelling leads to praise, after which the child is asked to reinforce the word in the context of a sentence. Encouraging cues to "try again" are given in response to incorrect spellings, and eventually the program spells the word for the child while tracking it on-screen.
In the "Test Yourself" activity, the program measures learning from the same word list. Each word is read aloud, then students are challenged to type the word in response. After the list is done, the student receives a quick overview of how many words were spelled correctly. The test can be taken as many times as necessary to improve learning and also reinforce daily vocabulary lists.
Teachers can add students, edit word lists, make custom lists, and determine how long each word remains on-screen. SpellTrack also addresses the "phonemic awareness," "phonics," and "comprehension" tenets of the Reading First program. Meeting these criteria is an important gateway to accessing state funds from the No Child Left Behind act. Other skills taught by this program include left-to-right tracking, sequencing, segmenting, and word recognition.
Source: Tool Factory, http://www.toolfactory.com