In addition to the choice of word lists and games, to find other useful ways to tailor the program, go to your personal settings – in the menu under Settings for (name).
Able spellers/those needing more pace – Can move rapidly through the Wordshark course which has a number of challenge words at the end of the course. Consider asking them to create their own advanced lists, and/ or adding description lists to test each other with recorded clues for each written word.
Younger children – will benefit from frequent quality supervision from an adult to get the most out of the program. You will need to tick the phonics box when using a phonic approach – you can un-tick it at any point, to play the whole-word games.
In the main spelling games, consider the option (top left of games screen) Use tiles for letters. The High Frequency Words (HFW) ‘course’ is also useful for selecting appropriate lists. Consider changing the font under Admin\universal settings to Sassoon Primary Infant WS. Consider giving each child an icon which will help sign-on time (if the children sign on individually).
Lower achieving groups – The Wordshark course provides a very structured approach to spelling. Have the box Use phonics ticked when using a phonic approach – you can un-tick it at any point to play the whole-word games.
Secondary school use – If using the Secondary subject list course, make use of the sentence games (and their worksheets) as they put the words into context and help with word meaning. Consider excluding games, which in your opinion, might appear too ‘young’.
Go to Admin\Universal settings to do this.
Consider using The Wordshark course for general spelling as it provides a very structured approach. Consider adding your own lists and turning them into description lists by clicking on the spanner and adding recorded ‘clues’ for each word.
Dyslexia – The Wordshark course is an easy to use, structured course. (Alpha to Omega is also available.)
Have the Use phonics box ticked when using a phonics approach – and untick it at any time to play the whole-word games. Students under Settings for (name) may like to turn down, or turn off, the Groans and beeps that you hear when a mistake is made. Lowering speeds to give ‘thinking time’ and using games which impose no time limit will help early on. High frequency words often present difficulties. You may wish to select appropriate lists from The High Frequency Words (HFW) ‘course’ to practise. The games format, the structured lists, the phonic approach together with the reinforcement through playing a list with so many different games, are all designed to help students with dyslexia.
Dyspraxia – Consider turning speeds down. For Sharks -tick the box for Automatic shark catching under Options (top left of the screen) and for Maze – reduce the complexity of the maze under Options. Games that do not impose a time limit will also be easier to play.
ASD and ADHD – Consider ticking the box for Static games icons under Settings for (name). Set work with a restricted number of lists and games as set work to reduce stimulus. Headphones will be needed.
Mears-Irlen Syndrome/Scotopic Sensitivity – Adjust the Background colour in games under Settings for (name).
Adult poor readers – Consider excluding games, which in your opinion, might appear too ‘young’. Go to Admin\Universal settings to do this. Consider looking at picture choices. Either the student does this under Settings for (name) \ PICTURE options, or the administrator does it under Admin\ (Add and) manage students \Change students’ settings and courses. Consider adding your own lists for high interest, and recording words in the student’s voice. You can also turn these into description lists by clicking on the spanner and adding recorded ‘clues’ for each word.