Tuesday, November 22, 2011

iPod Touch Phonics Apps

Many teachers and parents are using iPod Touches to assist with early literacy skills, such as letter recognition and phonics skills.  There are several apps that can help with this.  Many of the apps are free.  If they are not free, several have a lite versions that you can try to see if you wish to purchase the paid version. 

I will highlight a few of my favorites below.  

First Words Sampler 
First Words Sampler is the free version of this app.  It reinforces letters, how letters relate to sound, and how to spell words.  Children drag letters to corresponding boxes under a matching picture and the word is read to them.  This app has the option to switch to different languages such as Spanish, French, German, and Japanese.  The full version is available for $1.99. 


The "ABCs" section of Starfall.com's well-loved website is now available as a universal application for your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Our activities motivate through positive reinforcement and play. Children delight as they see, hear, and interact with letters and sounds in words, sentences, and games. They learn to recognize letters and develop skills that will ensure they become confident leaders. All children, and especially English language learners, benefit.

Elmo Loves ABCs - For iPad only
Elmo loves this app! It has songs and videos about letters. It has coloring pages and games about letters. The paid version has all the letters from A to Z.  Both paid and lite version have 3 different alphabet songs. 

ABC Phonics Animals Free Lite

This app was developed by a group of parents.  The app mimics and automates how they would go over each flash cards with their own children, focusing in on the alphabet phonetics, spelling, reading, and sounds.

There are also 3 additional games to supplement and provide positive reinforcements:

1) Animal Match Game - supplemental to the flash cards and focus on your child comprehension skills. Recommended to play this game after your child plays with the flash cards and is familiar with it.
2) Prize Zone Game - interactive game where the prizes are unlocked after completing a level in the Animal Match Game.
3) Letter Balloon Pop Game - focus on alphabet letters and sound recognition.

Phonics Free-ABC and Words
This is an excellent introduction to Phonics. 

The alphabet section introduces the phonetic sound of each alphabet.  

The words section teaches the child how to sound out a word to spell it. It presents words from common word families and says out the phonetic sound of each letter when building the word.

Build a Word Express - Free

Build A Word Express Application helps children learn how to spell by using either sounds of the letters (phonics) or names of the letters (spelling).

According to the app developers, the underlying pedagogical methodology for this application is to teach children letters as well as to teach them how to combine letters into words. A child is offered either/both a visual prompt or/and audio prompt to “write” a word. The word is to be written by dragging appropriate letters one at a time in the designated slot in the correct order. Success is rewarded by a short fun game. The child is drawn into the world of dinosaurs. The task is to save the dinosaurs captured and taken up into the sky in magical balloons. By popping the balloons the child enables the ancient creatures to use their parachutes and land safely.

Z is for Zebra-Learn Letter Sounds Learn to Read - $.99

This app helps children learn the sounds of letters by hearing audio that corresponds with each letter. 

ABC Expedition Mini- $.99
Captain Wallace takes children on a guided visit through the Alphabet Zoo to help them learn their abc’s and animals through sights and sounds.