My daughter is turning five soon and is in her second year of preschool. At her preschool for over the past year, they have been doing Zoo Phonics. She is already familiar with letter recognition, but does need to work on her writing. This app was great for practicing her writing and putting words to the motions for writing letters. Before allowing the user to practice, the app shows how to write the letter and also tells how to to write it. I often see her studying the app as it is writing the letter and listening intently to the verbal directions. This is a great app for introducing letter concepts, beginning writing letters, and making connections between letters, sounds, and words.
I introduced this app after the "Pre-K ABC's" app. I believe due to her age and existing knowledge base, this is usually the app that she prefers to explore. Building upon what was introduced in the "Pre-K ABC's" app, this one takes many of the concepts a little bit further. Even though she is in preschool still, I like the writing part of this app as it clearly differentiates between lower-case and upper-case letters. When beginning with this app, she did need a little more direction at first, but then was off and running on her own. This app helps to make letter, word, and sound connections, but I also really like that it helps with concepts of print. When she is exploring it, we talk about how we start at the top left with reading, move to the right, and then move down to the next line. It has brought her attention to different concepts that I am starting to see her translate into other areas (such as when we read together, she sometimes wants me to point to the word as I am reading it). When she has iPad time, I usually ask that before she plays some games or looks at ebooks that she explores this app a little first. She always finds something new to take away and is happy to show her little brother the pictures, letters, and songs (especially for the ones that are in his name!).
Kinder Assessment Teacher's App
The last app that I reviewed was the "Kinder Assessment Teacher's App." As my daughter is still in preschool, I knew this was going to be a little above her knowledge base, but knew it would be a great reference for me for areas that she can work on to be ready for kindergarten. We were already able to go through most of the "Writing and Alphabet" sections, and are working on some of the other areas. It has helped me to become more aware of areas I can help her with at home and conversation starters for her teachers at preschool. I think this would be a great app for Reading Specialists to use and could easily identify areas for improvement.