You may notice that here at WCTL we categorize our games using very generic, and perhaps old-fashioned, labels such as Reading and Math. We often use those words to cover a wide range of skills related to these two areas of teaching, learning, and performance.

When we talk about reading, we are referring to the large set of skills that go into what it means to be a capable reader, things like learning the names of letters and reciting the alphabet; understanding the sounds that letters make; decoding or "sounding out" words; learning to spell words; recognizing sight words; expanding vocabulary; identifying and creating rhyming words; developing a concept of what it takes to be a word or a sentence; and dividing words into parts or syllables. Teachers often refer to these as Language Arts or literacy skills.

99801448Similarly, the term numeracy is often used by educators - particularly in early childhood education - to refer to skills related to numbers. Skills such as developing a concept of number; counting forwards and backwards by a variety of intervals (counting by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, 10’s, etc); and adding and subtracting are all a part of numeracy, or what is known more generically as math. Telling time and counting money are also included under an umbrella of math skills, and are indeed rather complicated ones, requiring the brain to perform several different calculations at once. No wonder they're so tricky to learn!

Even before young learners tackle most reading and math operations, however, there are some fundamental skills that we are calling Basics. Things like recognizing shapes and colors; understanding concepts such as above, below, behind, and in front of; matching or sorting objects that go together; connecting puzzle pieces in a meaningful way; and beginning drawing are all important early academic skills that actually lead to developing both literacy and numeracy.

Here, for purposes of easy classification, if a game deals primarily with letters, it goes into the reading pile; if it deals primarily with numbers, it goes to the math side; and if it deals fairly equally with both and/or includes some really early building-blocks skills, we'll call it Basics.