PocketPhonics Stories won 2015 Best Learning Apps & Games award from Balefire Labs. Out of the 4500 education apps they’ve reviewed, it's one of only six app they rate A+. It's also an Academic Choices Award Winner.
There is also a free-to-try version of this app with a $1.99 monthly subscription.
** If you ever need help, please contact us from within the app or at appsinmypocket.com as we are unable to respond to reviews.**
Most children aged 4+ will start to read their first storybook within 10 weeks if they use the app for 15 minutes each day.
PocketPhonics Stories is split into 12 groups of letter sounds, each group is followed by a set of storybooks that contain those letter sounds. Once a child has mastered one group of letter sounds, they progress to reading the storybooks that test their knowledge of those letter sounds. They read storybooks on the right level for them. Once that task is completed they move on to the next group of sounds.
Parents and teachers can easily monitor children’s progress online. They can see what stage the child is at, any letter sounds they are having difficulty with and what storybooks have been read.They are also emailed a certificate when a child completes a task. These certificates are a much-loved feature of the original PocketPhonics app, which launched in 2008 and has been downloaded over half a million times.
Children can tap an unfamiliar word in a story, and the app will sound out the letters to help the child understand what the word says. If that’s not enough, they can tap again to hear the actual word and see a picture that illustrates its meaning.
The storybooks gradually introduce high-frequency words that are harder to read because they follow less common spelling rules. Words that this child is likely to find difficult to read in a story are highlighted in red. This takes into account what the app has learned about the child’s phonics knowledge and ability to read longer words.
As the child reads a story, the app will check that they can read and understand some of its new words.
At the end of the story, the app tests the child on all the new words in that story. Each word is spoken in turn, and the child has to select the written form of the word. Only once they are able to correctly identify all the words in all the books on this level, does the app move on to teach them the next group of letter sounds.
Aligned with Common Core State Standards, children master the following skills:
* writing letters (two different writing styles plus cursive option)
* recognising 72 letter sounds (e.g. ‘ch’ are the letters that make the initial sound in ‘chat’)
* blending letter sounds together to make words (e.g ‘ch-a-t’)
* hearing a word and selecting its written form (e.g. the app says, “chat”, the child has to select ‘chat’ from a group of words - some of which are similar to chat)
Teachers don't need to worry about making sure kids have the same iPad each lesson. If a child switches iPads, they automatically continue learning from where they finished previously. Children can use the app at home, and continue from where they left off at school.
Order the app's FREE GUIDE to teaching kids to read to understand how it teaches.
Phonics (letter sounds) help children to read by understanding the sounds that letters make. The National Reading Panel concluded that “children who have phonics instruction read better and spell better than other children”.
Montessori & other experts recommend not including letter names when teaching letter sounds.