Early Education | App Reviews

8 Apps to Introduce Reading

Common Sense Media’s service Graphite, which offers independent ratings and reviews on learning apps and websites, has compiled this list of its top apps for introducing reading. For complete reviews, and for each app’s "Learning Rating," visit the Graphite website.

Beck and Bo1. Beck and Bo
Price:  $1.99
Concepts:  Imagination, logic
Grade Levels:  Pre-K
Kids build imagination and language skills as they explore neighborhood places with Beck and Bo. By dragging and dropping objects onto the screen in the right place, kids create scenes that teach them logic, cause and effect, and use of words. Read the full review.

Learn With Homer2. Learn with Homer
Price:  Free
Concepts:  Expression, creation, thinking critically, self-reflection
Grade Levels:  Pre-K to 1
Loaded with content,Learn with Homer keeps ages 3 to 6 engaged in activities where they can read or listen to stories; draw,;and record voices, plays songs and more. Phonic exercises help kids learn letter sounds, word recognition and comprehension. Read the full review.

Monkey Word3. Monkey Word School Adventure
Price:  $1.99
Concepts:  Memorization, part-whole relationships
Grade Levels: Pre-K to 1
In Monkey Word SchoolAdventure, a cute monkey takes kids through a jungle of phonics and word groups to help them learn early reading skills. As they finish a round of activities, they earn rewards to fill a terrarium and advance to the next level. Read the full review.

Motessori Crosswords4. Montessori Crosswords
Price:  $2.99
Concepts:  Applying information, academic development
Grade Levels: Pre-K to 3
Combining Montessori principles and technology makes learning phonics simple. Matching letters to sounds, kids arrange the alphabet on the board to spell out words. Visual and auditory inputs appeal to kid users with different learning styles. Read the full review.

Starfall5. Starfall Learn to Read
Price:  $2.99
Concepts: Applying information
Grade Levels: 2 to 3
Starfall Learn to Read is a complete beginning phonics instruction and practice resource. You'll find instructional songs and videos, complete-the-word activities, concentration matching games, and more. Standards content includes blending, isolating, short and long vowels, vowel pairs, and consonant digraphs. Read the full review.

LanguageBuilder6. LanguageBuilderDeluxe
Price:  $9.99
Concepts: Listening, speaking, conveying messages
Grade Levels:  K-3
LanguageBuilderDeluxe tasks kids with making sentences based on picture prompts. Answers can be written or verbally recorded which helps teachers and parents monitor progress and make sure kids are on pace. Read the full review.

Phonics Genius7. Phonics Genius
Price:  Free
Concepts: Memorization, logic
Grade Levels:  K-5
Phonics Genius is a flashcard-style app that helps kids learn letter sounds and match them to words. Kids practice pronunciation and can record sight words in a library to playback their answers. Customizable features allow teachers to create and categorize lessons. Read the full review.

News2You8. News-2-You
Price:  Free
Concepts:  Solving puzzles, following directions
Grade levels:  2-6
News-2-You brings social studies, current events, and other newsy tidbits to kids with special needs as well as beginning readers. The symbols-based and voice-supported articles make reading – and the news world – accessible and adjustable to readers of varying abilities. Read the full review.

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