Since owning a smart phone I have gone slightly app crazy. I have found some brilliant apps that the children love, their choice would be the latest craze of games like we draw and for the boy Fifa 12 however I have been really excitied to see a growing number of apps that are educational in addition to being fun.
Read Write Phonics is available on google play for just £1.49 and is one of those apps. The teacher, as well as the mum in me loves this app, as it is so up to date. Key Stage 1 children learn to read and write through using phonics in schools. This method comes directly from the Primary Framework that follows the National Curriculum. Therefore to find an app that has been designed with this in mind makes sense. There has been much theory behind developing this app and once the child has been shown it is simple enough for them to play on their own.
The Read Write Phonics app has each of the phonic sounds that is taught from the short vowels like ‘a’ and ‘e’ to the long ‘ai’ and to friction sounds like ‘f’. Each sound is said and then put into easily recognisable images which are then repeated.
There are three parts to the app
Read; to hear the sounds and example words with fun original illustrations.
Write; where children learn how letters are formed and can try tracing themselves with more encouragement the closer they get.
Phonics; where children can blend the sounds together and form words.
I used the app with some friends that have foundation stage children and some preschoolers, they all agreed that the app did indeed support what was being done in the classroom. One mum thought it would be great in the car for journeys. She said
This would be a great activity that my son can do in the car, that way he is learning without feeling like he is doing homework. I would do this in much the same way we practise counting in twos on car journeys.
As Furthermore the App is being assessed by the Department for Education who will independently verify that the App does meet the relevant core criteria of a phonics resource. This illustrates the educational value.
Our children live in a world full of technology and I think it is innovative that we can use apps like this with pre schoolers and those in the foundation years. You know that you are doing the best by your child if you are using the same methods schools are using. It clearly reinforces what is being taught in the classroom. Again the children will be used to working on interactive whiteboards in most schools and the smart phone is yet another extension of this interatcive learning. There has been much research in recent years on how best to teach boys – boys like technology, it gives them another tool in which to reinforce the classroom learning.
The creators behind the app are on twitter and facebook and would be interested to hear your views and discuss the app with you.
Do share your thoughts on the app once you have downloaded it from google play.