Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Roy the zebra****

Roy the zebra is the creation of Tim Bowerbank, trading as Roy productions. Tim is a web developer based in UK, or so I assume from the terms of use which stipulate the use of English laws :) The site is dedicated to teaching how to read, complete with games, a story in nine parts, worksheets and more software. Other than the software which you may buy, the rest is totally free.

It is very well designed, avoiding the cluttered look even while holding a lot of information on the home page. The colours are easy on the eye and the graphics cute. By and large it loads quickly but songs and the stories can take longer if you don't have broadband.

The story of Roy, the singing zebra, is meant for emerging readers. The language is easy and the story so interesting that you want to go to the next part immediately. I wish its sequel had also been written and posted, but alas, that is not so. There are no turn-the-page graphics, which makes the page quicker to download, and it is still interesting. My only grouse would be of size - I would love to see this full page...

The flash games are listed by levels - word or sentence, and then further according to the object of the game, eg. alphabetical order (as above), use of long phonemes, or singular/plural. The games are appealing to children, and are designed to fit into school curricula well. Each theme has the same graphics, which is fine, but when this gets repeated for different themes, it becomes a tad boring. Be warned that some of the games have this text splashed all over the screen - 'Available for download only'. It can still be played but is not so interesting, nor easy to read for children. However, lesson plans are given for each theme so even these games are useful as a guide.

And finally, there are free printable literacy sheets in pdf format like the one above. Simple, but a good resource to have.

The reading software for purchase includes lesson plans, flash cards, worksheets and other printables, and games of course. So far there are four - two each on long phonemes and tricky words, but hopefully there will be more soon.

The url - http://www.roythezebra.com/index.html

PS - The final opinion? A wonderful site which you must explore by yourself, for describing it seems rather lame but using it is a different matter altogether! The content and the site both are great. Our last use of the site was more for fun - before my kid was reading, so I am looking forward to using it again now.


Playing by the book said...

My eldest started learning to read in October and I think she would perhaps enjoy this site. I'll give it a go over the Easter break and see how she gets on! Thanks for the tip.

Swati said...

You are welcome! And I am honoured to have you visit :)