Learning to read can be difficult. And teaching a group of students to read and write can be a daunting task – especially taking into consideration that each student may learn differently, and at a very different pace. Some students may have trouble matching sounds with letters and words, some with writing mechanics, others may have trouble concentrating in a traditional classroom setting. Having a few extra tools in the arsenal to have students using either in class or out of class can help to bring everyone up to speed or help any student to get a bit ahead.
We’re always on the lookout for useful apps that are free – here are three that are great for budding readers!
ABC Reading Magic 2 has three modes that each focus on a skill (they build on one another) that help a student learn to read. The blending mode helps learners see and hear how sounds blend together (and matches them with their letters. Next, the segmenting mode helps the student break down the word into segments, making words and parts of words easier to learn, recognize, and sound out. Third, the reading mode helps (it sort of quizzes) the student on words. There are visual cues, but they are hidden by default to encourage the student to read the word rather than relying on the visual clue. Overall, a relatively simple app, but easy to use, and appropriate for students who are starting to learn to read.
ABC PocketPhonics Lite covers the basics of reading and writing for young learners, focusing on helping students learn sounds of letters, how to write each letter, and includes 17o “first words” that are easy and appropriate for new readers (Pre-K-7~ish). The app teaches letter sounds (as opposed to the names of the letters) as well as sounds of commonly grouped letters (like ch), and uses this ‘sound out’ idea to help the student with the ‘first words’. In learning to write each letter, the app can also check how accurate the student’s writing is. The ‘lite’ version of the app does come with a restriction, and that comes in the section of the app that teaches the students how to write each letter – only the first 6 letters are free in the lite version. The full version is $2.99.
Learning in cute and fun form is always a plus, especially with younger students. The ABC Writing Zoo Animals Game focuses on both individual letters and full words, highlighting the phonetic sounds, pronunciation of words, and associates a cute and and familiar animal with each letter and word. B is for bird, and g is for giraffe! Definitely designed for early reading learners, the app also allows the student to trace the letters of the word to encourage good letter formation and writing skill. It’s also worth checking out a few of the other apps by this developer – there are quite a few that focus on early-stage reading, phonics, numbers, and counting.