Parents: Learn to Use OLSN, The Word Learning
Support Layer of the Magic Ladder


Watch this 2 minute video:



Note: the above video shows how the Magic Ladder’s stories use the cues to stretch the reader into learning how a word’s letters are making the word’s sound. When using OLSN outside the Magic Ladder, (more for support than instructing) the 1st click on a word shows the word fully cued and the 2nd click begins the animated sounding out.



Both the early stages of learning to read and the later stages of reading to learn, become easier for children once they start using OLSN. The best way for children to learn to use OLSN is for someone to show them, so please take a few moments to learn how to use it yourself: 

TWO MODES: OLSN supports two modes of word learning: learning to recognize words, and learning to understand words. Learners get help for recognizing words by clicking them. They get help for understanding words by clicking them and then clicking the Word Explore button in the Pop-Up. 

Touch for recognizing.          For understanding touch.   


MODE 1: Using OLSN to help recognize words:

Click as Needed! Whenever learners hesitate trying to read a word they should click it. Clicking on a word causes OLSN to pop-up with the word in its small blue box. If the word has a lot of letters, the word will appear broken into smaller and more easily readable parts. For example, click on the following word: segmented.

Did you notice that the word was shown in 3 segments?

Now, click it again, and this time after it appears in the box, click it again (segmented).  Did you notice how the e was gray and the n was bold and OLSN‘s voice said “N”? 

Now click it for a third time (segmented). Did you see and hear the word sounded out? This way of changing the looks of letters so that they can better telegraph their sounds is called PQs (for “pronunciation cues“). PQs are like “phonics clues” and “sound-out hints” that help children learn how to recognize unfamiliar words. OLSN uses PQs to help guide learners into getting good at reading.

Important Note: You and your child can learn all you need to learn about PQs by just using OLSN. You don’t have to learn PQs before using them to read with them, however, if you want to learn more about PQs, click here.


MODE 2: Using OLSN’s WordExplore button to help understand words.

Step 1: Whenever learners encounter a word that they don’t know the meaning of, they should click the word to open the OLSN (just like they would for a word they don’t recognize).

Step 2: Once OLSN opens with the word in its box, they should then click on the WordExplore  button to open the Reference Panel. Once the reference panel opens they can select from a number of types of references for helping them understand the word: 

Step 3: If English is their primary language, they should click on the Dictionary  or Synonym  button to see the words definitions. If English is not their primary language, they should click on the Translator  button to see translations in their language. Note: if the Translator is not set to their primary language, click on the Translator Menu  button to select it.


Important Note: Learners can click on any word in the  dictionary,  synonyms or  roots reference panel (for example “embarrassing” below), and OLSN will help them read (recognize and understand) the word. 

Now that you know the two modes of OLSN and how to use them, first you, and then your child, should practice with some of the words included in the table below. Show them how to use OLSN “click, watch, listen, and try to read it again and repeat as needed”. Once they know how to use it to work out unfamiliar words, then have them click on the WordExplore button and use the reference panel to get help understanding the meanings of words. Keep practicing together until they know when to click on a word, and how to use OLSN to help them recognize and understand any word they encounter.



Practice Words




































On to the next step on the “Parents Instructions” page