I’ve recently come across a couple of excellent iPad Apps that assist with the teaching of reading, spelling and writing. These Apps are appropriate for little kids (3-6 years) that are just getting started with reading, or they can be used for older children who may have a learning difficulty.
These Apps are great to use as an additional resource or as part of an intervention program. It’s important to remember that for children with a learning difficulty or disability it’s essential that they are provided with a structured, explicit and systematic approach in relation to their identified weakness.
1. abc PocketPhonics
My Little Miss Three loves this App and she always wants to play with it. It’s great for teaching sounds, handwriting and simple words. What I like about this App is that it focuses on letter sounds and not letter names.
It begins quite easy with the individual letters and the sounds they make. Children are shown the letter and hear the sound it makes. They are then shown how to trace the letter using arrows. The child is then prompted to have a go at tracing the letter and then say the sound. When they have completed a few letters, they move on to selecting the correct sounds to make words. The game then goes on to the concepts that some spellings are written with two different letters, e.g. /sh/, /ch/ as well as one sound – different spellings, e.g. now and out.
There is also an extensive FAQ section which details how to change the style of handwriting, uppercase or lowercase and the type of voice used (currently only has American English or British English). The settings can also be adapted for individual students and the App can focus on only letter sounds and leave out the words if wanted.
The App includes the option to be able to track the different players. This requires you to register with an email address. When you do this you can also elect to have a free copy of the teaching guide sent to you.
If you’re a parent who is looking to support your child’s reading development, then this is a really great tool that your child can use independently. The accompanying guide also provides parents with some knowledge about how to teach reading. The guide also has a great glossary explaining the specific terms used.
If you want to try before you buy it has a ‘lite’ version that is free. The full version is only $2.99 (AUD), which I think is excellent value for money.
This game works by the child using his/her finger to collect the numbered balls which traces the letter (or can use numbers too). When all the letters in a word are written correctly, a drawing of the word is shown. The child then needs to slide the letters into the spinning hole to advance to the next level.
This App is great for developing early letter writing and alphabetic skills. But, I feel it’s definitely not as detailed or as beneficial as abc PocketPhonics. The other main feature I don’t like is that it uses letter names for introducing each letter, rather than the sounds. This may be okay if you have a child that is quite confident with the difference between sounds and letters, but for students who are struggling to read and hear individual sounds in words then this App may not be for them.
Again, this App has a free lite version, so you can try it out. The full version is $2.99 (AUD).
There must be other wonderful Apps out there that help with the teaching of reading. This is where you come in….I’d love for you to link up with me and share any Apps you’ve found that help teach reading, phonics, writing or spelling. Please link to a specific blog post, and not a product, using the linky tool below. Thanks and I’m looking forward to finding some other great Apps.