Sight and Say is an educational app that is available for both Windows 10 PC and Mobile devices. The app is described as a tool for organizing and practicing sight words, the Windows 10 app offers you the ability to create, manage and practice speed development using flash cards.
While many educational apps approach their subject matter with games and colorful animations, Sight and Say takes on a more conservative approach and relies on parental guidance and interaction. Neither of which is a bad thing.
Sight and Say isn't going to appeal to everyone and could use a little fine-tuning, but overall if you are looking for a tool to help with your child's speech development, it is worth consideration.
Sight and Say comes loaded with a list of Dolch Sight Words for pre-primer ages. For those not familiar, Dolch Sight Words is a collection of the most commonly used words in children's books. The list was compiled in the late 1930's by Dr. Edward William Dolch with the belief is that once a child knows these words, it will make reading much easier and allow the child to focus on the remaining words.
When you first launch Sight and Say, you will be required to log into the app with your Microsoft, Facebook or Google account. This will allow you to transfer your child's progress through the lessons between devices. From there you will be sent to a page that will enable you to create a profile for each of the children using the app. Tapping on a child's icon will pull up options to view the child's profile or begin a practice session.
A hamburger menu will sit in the upper left corner that serves as a navigational menu and offer access to the app's settings. Along with having the option to go to the app's Children's page you can go to the Word List and Voices pages.
The Word List will provide you access to Sight and Say's categories of words where you can choose your language (English, French, German, Hebrew or Spanish), import word lists, add words and view the pre-loaded lists. The Voices page will also provide you an option to choose your language along with the option to listen to pre-recorded words and record words in your own voice.
Using the app to practice words isn't overly complicated but probably needs a parent's hand to get things started. When you tap on the practice option from the Children's page, a pop-up menu will appear with several playback options. The "start" button is hidden from view and you will need to scroll down the list to reveal it.
Once a practice session begins, the screen fades to black and letters for the Dolch words appear and are vocalized to create the word. Your child can sound out each letter and complete the words with the voice recording. The app will keep track of each session and the words practiced.
Nice Concept, Simple Execution
While I liked the overall concept of Sight and Say, there is a need for a little fine-tuning. I often ran into application errors while running the app on my Lumia 950 and there were noticeable layout issues present. Menu words would run off the screen and a few graphic overlaps were present. I didn't run into these issues while running Sight and Say from a PC, so I suspect it is simply a resolution error created while transitioning the app from the larger PC screen to the smaller Windows Phone screen.
None of the issues I ran into with Sight and Say were deal breakers, but you will need a little patience until you get used to the app's navigation and quirkiness. It is a very simple app with very few bells and whistles. Even the flash card sequence is relatively uneventful, yet educational. Sight and Say is one of those educational Windows 10 apps that does a good job of what it is designed to do without a lot of distraction.
Overall, Sight and Say does a good job of teaching your children the Dolch Sight Words. If all holds true with Dr. Dolch's theory on sight words, learning these words should help with your child's reading comprehension skills. Sight and Say has a seven-day trial version available with the full version running $4.99. The Dolch Word List is provided with additional lists available through in-app purchase.