icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: Curriculum Review:Ooka Island!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Curriculum Review:Ooka Island!!

Chad's schoolwork has kept him busy lately-he's been climbing mountains, skateboarding, and jet skiing to name just a few activities that are helping him learn to read!  I know what you're wondering: How and where is he doing all this?  The answer is simple: He's been on an Ooka Island Adventure!!

What is the Ooka Island Adventure?

'The Ooka Island Adventure is a downloadable hero-mission in 3D designed to teach young children how to read fluently and well. The Ooka Island Adventure combines the highly engaging components of a state-of-the-art virtual world with the scientifically proven OokaMethod that builds literacy skills. Carefully embedded within the Ooka Island Adventure are dozens of interactive instructional activities that captivate the child and motivate them as they learn essential pre-reading, reading, spelling, and writing skills. After completing the Ooka Island Adventure, children will be on their way to reading fluently and well for life.'

Watch the official trailer for the program:

Ooka Island is for Prek-Grade 2.  Chad is in 3rd grade, but as he is not a strong reader yet, this program was perfect for him!  Here's how a typical session at Ooka Island works: The child starts with 20 minutes of guided play where the player is guided through a customized learning path through the 7 activities on Ooka Island. This guided play time is learning time, but it is fun too! After 20 minutes of guided play the child unlocks the next book on the Book Path, reads the book in the Popcorn Library and completes the comprehension and vocabulary activities. There are 85 leveled books to read on Ooka Island!! The player is then rewarded with 8 minutes of Free Play where the player can play in any unlocked activity on the Island, purchase items in the Mist Mart, or play with their Ooka Elf friends in the Pencil Playground. When Free Play ends, the player starts the cycle again, beginning with 20 minutes of Guided Play.

Click here to explore the island! 

When we received our download for Ooka Island, I must admit I was worried-it is a BIG file.  It took our computer about an hour to download it, but after that we've had no problems with the size of the file.  I do think it would be nice to have the program on a CD to insert into the computer instead of the download.  Next, Mom (yes, that's me!), not reading the instructions first, attempted to start the program and messed up the customizable avatar.  Chad definitely didn't want the blonde, long-haired female avatar I created.  One quick email to customer service and they fixed us up immediately!  (They also have live chat customer service!)  I was impressed with the speed and efficiency of the customer service. Here is the pricing:

The Bottom Line: What do Chad and I think of the program?  LOVE IT!! From the first time playing, Chad had so much fun he just assumed this is not 'schoolwork' and so he asks to play Ooka Island after he's all done with his school day.  I haven't said anything to the contrary!!  I love when learning is that much fun for kids!! This is a high quality program, and I was impressed with the many features available. I highly suggest you get a FREE 14 day trial to try it out for yourself.  Then if you're interested in buying a membership, I have some good news:

Click here to go to the Ooka Island website.  It is packed full of information on the program, and several videos to watch as well!  Click here to read more reviews of Ooka Island.

Disclaimer: I received this product free in exchange for my honest review.

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