Sing-along Reading Program for Kids
My youngest child had a hard time with reading and it became a daily struggle motivating her to pick up a book or practice her sight words. I decided to "think outside the book" and create ReadingRockstar.com to use music to motivate her and other struggling readers. The website includes sing-along videos that help children recognize Fry Level 1 sight words and boost their reading fluency levels. It is currently used by both teachers and K-3 readers.
Design Thinking Process
I followed the design thinking process, starting with a series of virtual interviews, focus groups, and surveys with about 25 parents of elementary-aged kids who were interested in using music as a way to improve their kids' reading skills. After collecting their feedback, I designed and tested two music collections: one to improve sight word recognition and another to boost reading fluency. Then, I designed the mobile-responsive Website from scratch using Wix, which has some limitations but I have been able to make it work for my needs so far.
Sight Word Songs
Fry Level 1 (100 words)
I took the words on the Fry First 100 List and used them to write and produce 21 songs for children. Using Vyond, I created videos that feature literary characters from the public domain (e.g. Mulan, The Big Bad Wolf). Each video introduces sight words, invites learners to sing along when the sight words appear on the screen, and then assesses recall via a quick game, "Sight Word Showdown."
Reading Speed Songs
Using Rhythm to Boost Fluency Levels
For the Reading Speed music video collection, I picked royalty-free music with vocals and used Vyond and stock images (of familiar characters, when possible) to create sing-along music videos for each. When sung in the order presented, children will boost their reading speeds from 20 to 80+ average words per minute.
Mobile-Responsive Web Design
I designed the Web and mobile layouts using Wix, which has some limitations but includes a video streaming feature that makes the video library fairly simple to manage. I was able to customize the look and feel by applying the Reading Rockstar design language system (colors, typography, etc.) to the large library of design elements that are available on the platform.