An Island Built on Research & Innovation

We’ve combined 25 years of research and scientifically-proven methods to teach your child the foundational skills needed to become a confident reader.

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    Based on the concepts ranked #1 for reading comprehension by the Institute of Education Sciences.

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    Adaptive learning technology that analyzes your child’s progress and plots a personalized path.

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    6,695 steps towards mastery of the five foundational reading skills and becoming a confident reader.

Learning How to Read is a Science

  • While listening and speaking are natural, reading must be taught like every other skill. Science has proven it’s a complex process requiring mastery of five foundational skills: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.

  • Our pioneering Ooka Method progressively teaches the five foundational skills through a 24-level adventure. While the island is designed to engage your child, our adaptive learning technology ensures they master each step along the way.

  • Send your child to the island for 30 minutes, 3 times a week and they will graduate a confident reader in one year. Whether it's replacing a morning cartoon or designating a family reading routine, let us make the most of your child's screen time.

Engaging & Effective

On Ooka Island, we teach mastery of all five foundational reading skills through innovative activities and eBooks, all designed to engage your child.

On the island, your child is a hero, tasked with finding missing books and helping Ooka Elves learn how to read. While on their adventure, our reading program teaches them skills through 24 levels of educational games – like summiting Alphabet Mountain or spelunking in the Cave of Sounds and by reading 85 levelled eBooks in the Popcorn Library.

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Personalized Learning

There are 6,695 steps on the path towards becoming a confident reader - our adaptive learning technology ensures your child takes every one of them.

Each child travels a unique path towards mastery of the five foundational reading skills. That’s why our reading program uses adaptive learning technology, which continually analyzes your child’s progress and plots a personalized path to ensure they learn at their own pace and master skills before progressing to the next level.

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We have loved this program. My sons ask to play it all the time. It is the best program I have found for introducing so many different steps to learning to read. It covers letter sounds, letter identification, sight words, consonant blends and vowel blends, reading comprehension, and more.
Christina, Parent of 5 years old twins
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Weekly Progress Reports

You want to give your child a head start in life by raising them to be a confident reader - so do we. Think of Ooka Island as your partner in reading.

Each week, we’ll send you progress reports that provide a detailed picture of where your child is excelling or having difficulty. This actionable information empowers you to maximize your child’s learning off the island and in the classroom. You will also receive reading tips, reading worksheets and other free resources until your child graduates a confident reader.

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My son loves playing on Ooka Island and gets excited when he earns free play; I love the report features, which allows me to see exactly what his strengths and weaknesses are.
Rachel K., Parent of a 6-year-old boy
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The Ooka Method

The Ooka Method is founded on 25 years of reading research and scientifically-proven concepts ranked #1 by the Institute of Education Sciences.

The Ooka Method produces a confident reader by teaching 6,695 distinct steps which culminate in mastery of the five foundational reading skills: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and reading for meaning or comprehension. The island’s 24 levels of educational games and 85 eBooks are designed to teach each individual step until mastery.

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My son can read, but does not enjoy it. At all. He asked over and over again to play Ooka Island though! This is the first online “learning” game that we have tried that he loves. That make me one happy momma.
Erika, TOS Review Crew
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It's Not Just Parents. Experts Love Ooka Too!

Reading research clearly indicates that most students who struggle with reading achievement have problems with phonological processing. Ooka Island is one reading instructional program that teaches phonological skills explicitly as part of a complete reading instructional program. The earlier that we can help build these skills the better the outcome is likely to be for the child."
Dr Wayne MacDonald, Clinical Neuropsychologist
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Review the Research
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The Ooka Island program focuses on producing strong comprehension skills. The Ooka Island method is based on the proven concepts of a program that was recognized by the U.S. Dept. of Education as the top program, out of 153 analyzed, for developing comprehension in young readers. This program was SpellRead, developed by Dr. Kay MacPhee, the co-founder of Ooka Island.

The WWCH released a report with a review of 153 programs, out of which only 24 had research that matched evidence standards. Only seven programs were shown to provide significant increase in comprehension and out of those seven, SpellRead was number one, with an average percentile gain of 20 points.

Results of this study showed that SpellRead:

  • made a significant impact on the reading skills of deficient readers in grades one to six.
  • improved reading skills after only 35 hours of SpellRead instruction at all grade levels.
  • was effective for both moderately and severely deficient readers when delivered in groups of three to five students.

Rashotte, C.A., Kathleen MacPhee and Joseph K. Torgesen. “The Effectiveness of a Group Reading Instruction with Poor Readers in Multiple Grades.” Learning Disability Quarterly, 24:2 (2001): 119-134.

Research has confirmed that appropriate computer-assisted instruction that is engaging and enjoyable, and provides active learning experiences, strongly encourages learning in young children. The highly motivating game environment of the Ooka Island program, with short activities, consistent reinforcement, computer animation and interactivity, keeps children engaged and learning.

The more structured nature of computer-based learning compared with regular classroom instruction, as well as the immediate feedback and greater engagement with the learning experience that computers provide, make this type of reading instruction particularly well suited to young children.

Van Daal, V.H.P. and P. Reitsma, “Computer Assisted Learning to Read and Spell: Results from Two Pilot Studies.”Journal of Research in Reading 21, (2000): 181-193.

Shamir, Adina and Inessa Shlafer, “E-books effectiveness in promoting phonological awareness and concept about print: a comparison between children at risk for learning disabilities and typically developing kindergarteners.” Computers & Education, 57.3 (2011): 1989-1997.

The Ooka Island program provides a meticulously structured and leveled approach with explicit instruction in all the essential early literacy skills, with each skill building on the previous skills. Science has proven that learning to read with explicit instruction in recognizing and using the 44 sounds of English is crucial for the development of essential foundational skills for reading. In addition, learning to read in a more structured way, where activities build skills in a carefully determined progression, in a consistently presented format, is more efficient and supportive, particularly for children who find typical classroom reading instruction overwhelming.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, DHHS. (2010). Developing Early Literacy: Executive Summary of the National Early Literacy Panel (NA). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Web. October 6, 2011.

National Reading Panel Report re systematic, explicit instruction in phonemic awareness.

The Ooka Island program provides intense training on the rapid processing of speech sounds, a vital first step in the development of reading skills. An inability to quickly process speech sounds can cause problems with the normal development of an otherwise effective and efficient phonological system, something that is necessary for the development of foundational reading skills, and ultimately, reading comprehension. A recent study in the journal Child Development suggests “…early hearing speed can predict a student’s reading and spelling skills in early elementary school better than other cognitive skills like intelligence, working memory, and attention.”

Steinbrink, Claudia, et. al. “Development of Rapid Temporal Processing and Its Impact on Literacy Skills in Primary School Children.” Child Development, July-Aug 85:4 (2014): 1711-26

“Learning to listen reduces the cognitive burden of attending to the signal. The more proficient children become in learning to listen, the more capacity they have for listening to learn.”

Tallal, Paula. “Improving Neural Response to Sound Improves Reading.” Child Development Jul-Aug; 85(4): 2014 (1711-26).

Research has shown that e-books can effectively promote phonological awareness and concepts about print among young children, the earliest foundational skills in learning to read. It is particularly important that e-books reflect children’s own experiences and language level. The Ooka Island program intentionally uses very familiar situations and natural language. This makes it easier, rather than more complicated, for children to begin to understand what reading is all about.

One of the most critical, early developing concepts about print involves understanding that print is just spoken words written down. Highlighting of the words as they are read in an e-book, as done with the Ooka Island books, helps develop this understanding and also strengthens the connection between sounds and written words.

The Ooka Island reading experience provides books that have appropriate language and vocabulary throughout the levels, story lines that will be familiar to most young children, simple guiding narration to foster thinking about what is being read, with no other factors that would distract from the reading, and comprehension activities after the reading, so that the story is not interrupted.

“E-storybooks may be more effective for young children if educators provide developmentally appropriate e-storybooks that limit digital features that are unrelated to the story. These can serve as distractions for children and limit their comprehension of the story.”

Shamir, Adina and Inessa Shlafer, “E-books effectiveness in promoting phonological awareness and concept about print: a comparison between children at risk for learning disabilities and typically developing kindergarteners.” Computers & Education, 57.3 (2011): 1989-1997.

Science has proven that learning to read early links to future academic success. The Ooka Island program gives preschoolers the skills they need to be reading before school entry.

A group of researchers examined a number of studies on school readiness, looking at links between three key elements—reading and math skills at school-entry, attention skills, and socio-emotional skills (social skills and problem behaviors)—and later school reading and math achievement. Across all 6 studies, the strongest predictors of later achievement were school-entry math, reading, and attention skills.

Dowsett, Chantelle J. et. al. “School Readiness and Later Achievement.Developmental Psychology, 43:6 (2007): 1428–1446

The National Literacy Panel came to the following conclusions regarding early literacy instruction:

  • “Children who develop more literacy skills in the pre-school years perform better in the primary grades. Providing young children with the critical precursor skills to reading can offer a path to improving overall achievement.”
  • “Research evidence confirms the strong connection between early skill development and later reading success.”
  • “It is critical to start early if children are to develop the skills they need to be successful.”

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, DHHS. (2010). Developing Early Literacy: Executive Summary of the National Early Literacy Panel (NA). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Web. October 6, 2011.


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