TEACH YOUR MONSTER TO READ
CONCEPT: A vibrant, engaging game that teaches basic phonics to young learners.
DELIVERY: With my two young girls both due to start school in the next couple of years and the new curriculum for England specifying that phonics is to be the only strategy used to teach reading now, I was eager to check out this quirky monster themed app from The Usborne Foundation.
I wasn't dissapointed - and neither were my children who were the ultimate barometer in terms of the effective delivery of this app.
Deservedly BAFTA-nominated, the design is simply outstanding with first rate animation, voice work from English actor Simon Farnaby (Horrible Histories) and colourful game worlds to interact with. I also love that a great deal of control is offered to the child - from designing the look of their monster to selecting the game type they wish to play and even choosing the digital reward that their creature receives.
The game progresses from the tradtional starting place (SATPIN) through to blending and segmenting, with 31 letter-sounds in total across eight lands that the monster visits after crash-landing his spaceship. Designed in collaboration with phonics experts from Roehampton University, this is the app I will now be suggesting to Foundation Stage teachers bemoaning the lack of quality phonics apps (I've met quite a few over the last couple of years!) What's really great is the way the app builds up by introducing new letter sounds whilst reinforcing the previous ones by mixing them up.
LIMITATIONS: Some younger learners may find some of the games a little difficult to control (e.g. dropping the blocks in the spaceship game) and require support. There's also no option for multiple user profiles on the same device.
CONCLUSION: Quite simply the best app for teaching phonics on the iPad. 5/5
Persuasive writing work
Promoting a school event or charity