Reading Readiness – Packing Pig Goes to Work

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About Packing Pig Goes to Work

The Fast ForWord Reading Readiness exercise Packing Pig Goes to Work helps develop letter recognition and naming skills for uppercase and lowercase letters, while reinforcing the visual attention, hand-eye coordination, and auditory working memory skills developed in the other Reading Readiness exercises.

In Packing Pig Goes to Work, the student helps the worker package items by listening for the name of a letter and then identifying the matching written letter.

How students use Packing Pig Goes to Work

To work on this exercise, the student clicks the loudspeaker. The exercise pronounces a letter and displays that letter on the screen. The letter falls onto the conveyor belt, and the pig wraps it. After a few rounds, the exercise suspends the letter in the air and flashes it until the student clicks the letter. When the student demonstrates and understanding of this concept, the exercise announces a target letter and displays a choice of letters. The student must click the target letter. At first, the target letters assist the student by flashing once when pronounced, but eventually the student must rely only on the sounds to identify the letters. When the student clicks the correct letter, Packing Pig wraps it up and sends it on its way. Points are awarded for each correct answer, and bonus points are awarded after 10 correct answers.

  • In earlier stages, the process of clicking the loudspeaker, hearing a letter name, and watching the image of that letter fall onto the conveyor belt helps the student connect the name of a letter with its visual representation.
  • In later stages, the process of hearing a letter name and clicking the written letter reinforces the letter-name association. For example, a student hears the spoken letter name a and then must click the written letter a, thus associating the two. The exercise then adds a second letter, forcing the student to discriminate between two written letters and to learn that the letter name a matches the written letter a and not the written letter b.
  • As more letters are added, including uppercase and lowercase letters, the student learns to discriminate among multiple letters and to associate letter names with both uppercase and lowercase representations.

The first three sessions in each level of difficulty start with the Alphabet song. During the song, each letter on the screen highlights along with the song. When the song is complete, the student has a few moments to explore the screen before the exercise begins. The student can click any of the letters to hear that letter pronounced. This preparatory stage helps reinforce the student’s knowledge of letter-name associations. The student can click the Start button at any time to exit this screen and start the exercise.

Tip: The following keyboard shortcuts are available in Packing Pig Goes to Work:

  • Loudspeaker (start button). Space bar
  • Letter on the screen (response buttons). Corresponding letters on the keyboard

How Packing Pig Goes to Work rewards progress

Session consecutive correct counter. The three lights on the wall next to the pig represent the consecutive correct counter. The lights turn on to indicate the number of consecutive correct responses. When the student answers three consecutive trials correctly, a fun image (a balloon or a pig) appears in the tube and the counter resets. As the student continues to answer three consecutive trials correctly, the object moves higher in the tube. When the student answers three consecutive trials correctly three times, the balloon or pig shoots out of the tube and lands in the yard outside the window. Balloons burst into mud puddles, and pigs land and splash in the mud. As the student continues answering trials correctly in a session, the puddle grows larger and more pigs play in the mud, which can help indicate a more successful session performance.

Session high score. Each time the student surpasses the highest score ever achieved in one session, the points counter lights up and flashes the words High Score.

Time. The timer at the top of the screen shows the amount of time the student needs to work on the exercise that day, which is based on the student's protocol. When the time requirement is met, the exercise session automatically ends, and the student can either choose another exercise to work on or review his/her success in the exercises.

Exercise percent complete markers. The percent complete markers (lights) on the bottom left of the screen indicate the percentage of completed content in the exercise. Each marker represents 10% of the exercise. When all of the markers light up, the exercise is complete.

How students master Packing Pig Goes to Work

The student will continue to work on Packing Pig Goes to Work until the skills in the exercise are mastered. Then, the exercise is closed. To learn more see About completing a program.

Tip: For a complete list of content in the exercise, see the Reading Readiness teacher manual.