The Sounding Out Machine – Assistive Reading Device by FizzBrain – Review



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

allows kids to “read on their own” and become more comfortable with hard words by using their decoding skills to learn them.

What we’d love to see…

parental gate to protect the teacher and my word so kids can’t send an email by mistake or delete a student

Summary

A great app to practice word decoding skills in a fun way that doesn’t have the pressure of making a mistake in front of the teacher or let’s kids practice on their own.  I have seen great improvements especially in “hard words” and my son is asking to read now rather than being “forced” to.

Our Rating

The Sounding Out Machine - Assistive Reading DeviceThe Sounding Out Machine – Assistive Reading Device by FizzBrain is an iPad only app that helps kids who are reading to focus in on specific words that they may not know.  The app allows you to take words in three forms and then sound them out.  This app can be used with preschool through elementary school and is great for emerging readers.  By learning how to break a word down, they are more successful and ultimately that leads to more reading because it is fun rather than “something they have to do”.

The three modes of the app are:
•Camera mode – take a picture of the page of the book using your iPad
•Library mode –  Take a picture ahead of time, save it on your camera roll and open it when reading
•Typing mode – Type in your own word

It presents with a screenshot of the different types of reading modes.  You also create a profile for each child so that you can track the types of “hard” words on a daily, weekly and monthly basis so you can see change over time in reading comprehension.  You can also send the reports via email to parents or even teachers.  There are “teacher settings” – I put my own email here.  You can either have the app read phonemes as one unit or read every letter and ignore phonemes.  I tried it both ways, however, since my son is working on phonemes in school we primarily did it that way.  A quick tip – if you are going to use the library mode I found it much faster to photograph the pages of the board books and other books we were reading ahead of time without “help” as the pictures were clearer and there wasn’t the frustration if they were blurry.  Also, by making the library ahead of time, he knew the books that his brother liked or the ones he liked and could practice them on his own when he had time with the iPad.  I liked knowing that he was reading, and so I gave him some extra time with the iPad so he could practice. The app also allows you to track a photographed page with a box to cover up the extra words so if your child has trouble focusing on a specific word due to too many on the page this can help as well.

After getting the photo of the page either from the library or taking it on the fly, a colored box comes up that you move to the word that you need help sounding out.  Once the box is on the right word, you click “read my word”.  You are brought to another screen where you can see the word you put in the box and then have to type the word in using the on-screen keyboard.  After you type it in, you are prompted to see if you have spelled the word correctly.  I tested it both with the correct and incorrect spelling – and if the word was misspelled then the app said it “wasn’t in the dictionary” but you could use your card to try to sound it out again.  Once the word was spelled correctly or was in the dictionary, you could see the word and cover up parts of it to sound it out – in this case “roaring”.  You could either use a card and cover it up as you worked with your child or hit “teach me” which covered up the word and showed it letter by letter as it was sounded out.   There are different types of cards you can use which include “regular”, “see through”, “double”, “peekaboo”, and “teach me” which you can also change the colors of.  When I sat with my son, we used our own card to sound out words and then would use the teach me mode as well.    The word is also color coded into sections to make it easier to sound out.    The typing mode was harder for him, because even though he had the book in front of him sometimes he would make mistakes copying it down to be sounded out.  The app has great directions which explain how to use each function and button and even let you change the word from phoneme/syllable to blending on the fly.

My son struggles with word “decoding” which means that at times he can look at a word and even though he might know it, he can’t figure out what it means. We pretended to be an investigator as we sounded out the words and looked for clues like an ending or broke it apart as we read.  I can do that when I read with him, but when he reads on his own, he is more likely to look at the picture and make up a word if he doesn’t know one (which is developmentally appropriate at this time).   This is the perfect app to help him with that and I have seen based on the words in the library an improvement.  The app’s dictionary has over 80,000 words including multiple forms of the same word like “roar”, “roared”, “roaring” and they welcome suggestions from people on new words that should be added.  My son has even started to when reading use his fingers to chunk the word and sound it out – especially if it’s been one he practiced within the app.

I loved this app – my seven year old has started reading to his brother via board books and sometimes the words are too hard.  I photographed all the pages on my camera roll of “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear” by Bill Martin Jr. and then my son and I practiced reading them using the app.  By photographing the pages and putting the blue box around the hard words – he was able to sound them out and begin to recognize them so he could read the story to his brother more easily.  I loved that it encouraged him to read – we tried both with the camera photographing them ahead of time and photographing them as we read.  If I photographed them and put them on the iPad in the camera roll, he could then go back independently if he had trouble reading or we could do it together.  I also loved the “my words” so I could see the words he was having trouble with and then as time went on how the words changed.  I could also see it when my son reading to his younger brother – reading was cleaner and more fluid as he got better at chunking the words himself rather than just saying “I don’t know this word – tell me”.  To be fair, I know he’s working hard on reading in school as well and I’m sure that was a big help.  My son also told me he liked practicing on his own, because he could practice by himself without worrying that he was doing it “wrong”.

In terms of enhancements, I would like to see the “my words” email function protected by a parental gate.  My son figured out how to go in there and send out multiple emails when he was supposed to be reading.  The teacher settings area wasn’t protected either and my son tried to delete his profile, luckily it came up with a display box and he clicked he was not the teacher so we did not lose his progress. All other links including app store links in the “info section” are protected with a complex math problem.  It would also be nice if there was a “library” that stored your old words so you could tap on those to see them sounded out without having to find the photographed page again or take another photograph.

Overall, if your child has trouble decoding words or is struggling with reading this is a great tool to add to your app library.  I have many reading apps that I have used with my son, and one of the reasons we liked this one so much was that it broke things down into manageable chunks and let him read on his own.  Seeing my older son read to his younger brother in a more fluid way is a huge win in my book.  I’ve noticed other improvements in his reading skills as well – and when you compare the cost of this app to the hourly cost of a reading tutor, this is a great purchase to help carry over skills at home.  Another example, my son is starting to like to read for pleasure rather than it being a “have to do”.


The Sounding Out Machine - Assistive Reading Device
The Sounding Out Machine - Assistive Reading Device
by FIZZBRAIN LLC

Category: Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76, iPad812-iPad812, iPad834-iPad834, iPad856-iPad856, iPad878-iPad878
Size: 331.74 MB

$3.99USD

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.



Zooper ABC Animals by Zooper Dooper Edutainment Inc – Review



iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

multiple ways to learn the letter as well as tracing and phonics activities

What we’d love to see…

correction on the tracing activity if the letter is traced wrong or it goes off course

Summary

Comprehensive alphabet app that goes beyond the traditional see the letter and say it to include tracing and phonics.  Top pick!

Our Rating

Zooper ABC Animals

Zooper ABC Animals by Zooper Dooper Edutainment Inc is a fun app for iOS that is designed for toddler through early preschool to teach them the alphabet as well as phonics and the sound of each letter.  This interactive app features 26 letters, with each featuring their own animated animal and rhyme.  After seeing the animal and the rhyme, you can trace upper and lower case versions of the letter and hear the different sounds the letter can make in a variety of placements within a word.  The app can be used with narration, or it can be used in silent mode if you are with your child and working with them 1:1.

The app features:

  • Interactive rhyme that introduces your child to the letter sound
  • Tracing lesson both uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Guessing game to find objects that begin with the same letter as the animal such as ambulance or dolphin

iPhone Screenshot 2My toddler was a bit young for the app, but we looked at each of the letters (with the sound off) and I told him the name of the animal as well as the letter sound.  He enjoyed tapping on the screen and finding the animations.  For my older son, he still has trouble at times with sounding out words and phonics so I let him explore the app.  He enjoyed the “Zooper Dooper Bloopers” and the mistakes as well as listening to the different letters with the word.  I really liked that the app practiced a number of skills including object identification (the animal), tracing (both upper and lower case) as well as phonics.  I think that the phonics component makes the app unique and will help it appeal not only to parents of toddlers but those with other children who may be struggling with phonics.  The illustrations are fun and interactive and the narration is clear which is especially helpful when you have a child struggling with phonics or speech sounds.  My older son also enjoyed picking out the items that started with the specific letter as well.

 

iPhone Screenshot 3

In terms of enhancements, it would be nice if the tracing activity showed if the letter was traced correctly or not.  Currently, you can trace the letter either on or off target and there is no feedback about if it was done correctly.  There is also no way to erase or undo if you go off course, other than exiting the page and going back.

Overall, this is a fun alphabet app which is a little bit different than the norm since it includes object identification, tracing and phonics activities.  This app is different from the norm of alphabet apps and takes learning to a fun and zany new level!  There is no external advertising or in-app purchase.  Comprehensive alphabet app that goes beyond the traditional see the letter and say it to include tracing and phonics.  Top pick!



Zooper ABC Animals Zooper ABC Animals by Zooper Dooper Edutainment Inc

Price: $2.99 USD

Zooper ABC Animals—including Bubble Blowing Bees and Disco Dancing Dogs—provides animation, rhymes, sound effects, letter tracing, guessing games and phonics. As an extra treat, it also offers 26 .

Try before you buy!


Zooper ABC Animals LITE Zooper ABC Animals LITE by Zooper Dooper Edutainment Inc

Price: $FREE

Zooper ABC Animals—including Bubble Blowing Bees and Disco Dancing Dogs—provides animation, rhymes, sound effects, letter tracing, guessing games and phonics. As an extra treat, it also offers 26 .

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

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Sesame Street Alphabet Kitchen by Tiggly and Sesame Street – Review




iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

incredibly fun for kids and engaging, simple, educational

What we’d love to see…

word level settings, consonant and blend selection, words added to photo book

Summary

An early reader app disguised as a fun baking game .

Our Rating

Sesame Street Alphabet KitchenWhat happens when a distinguished educational program collaborates with an award winning educational toy company? Something great is made! Sesame Street and Tiggly have teamed up to create a brand new beginning reader app called Sesame Street Kitchen. It teaches children to recognize and read 3 letter CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words and 4 letter CVCC and CCVC words in a super fun and engaging way.

There are two ways to play the game. You can play the app on its own or with the use of the Tiggly Words Learning System, a smart toy comprised of five vowels that interacts with the app. This is sold separately and since I do not have it, please note that this review is only for the app only.

In Sesame Street Kitchen, children help bake cookies with the incessantly hungry but very lovable Cookie Monster. Cookie Monster starts by cutting the dough with two or three cookie cutters in the shape of consonants. He then asks the children to pick a vowel that will form a word with the consonants he chose. For example, Cookie Monster may cut a P and N on the dough, leaving a space in between them. Children can then choose a vowel such as A or E to make the word PEN or PAN. They can either tap on vowel of their choice or drag and drop them on the dough. If the vowel they chose does not make a word, Cookie Monster gently tells them to try again. If they make a word successfully, the letters get cut and thrown in a mixing bowl. The children then get to add colors and mix it all up. After mixing the dough thoroughly, a cookie is magically made! The cookie may simply be the word with added colors and sprinkles, or it may surprisingly turn into the shape of the object that represents the word.

What happens when a distinguished educational program collaborates with an award winning educational toy company? Something great is made! Sesame Street and Tiggly have teamed up to create a brand new beginning reader app called Sesame Street Kitchen. It teaches children to recognize and read 3 letter CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words and 4 letter CVCC and CCVC words in a super fun and engaging way.

iPhone Screenshot 2

There are two ways to play the game. You can play the app on its own or with the use of the Tiggly Words Learning System, a smart toy comprised of five vowels that interacts with the app. This is sold separately and since I do not have it, please note that this review is only for the app only.

In Sesame Street Kitchen, children help bake cookies with the incessantly hungry but very lovable Cookie Monster. Cookie Monster starts by cutting the dough with two or three cookie cutters in the shape of consonants. He then asks the children to pick a vowel that will form a word with the consonants he chose. For example, Cookie Monster may cut a P and N on the dough, leaving a space in between them. Children can then choose a vowel such as A or E to make the word PEN or PAN. They can either tap on vowel of their choice or drag and drop them on the dough. If the vowel they chose does not make a word, Cookie Monster gently tells them to try again. If they make a word successfully, the letters get cut and thrown in a mixing bowl. The children then get to add colors and mix it all up. After mixing the dough thoroughly, a cookie is magically made! The cookie may simply be the word with added colors and sprinkles, or it may surprisingly turn into the shape of the object that represents the word.

iPhone Screenshot 3

 

After making four cookies in a row, children get to “eat” the cookies they made or share them with Cookie Monster. In this activity, children are taken to a different room where they can see their four cookies displayed on a shelf. Cookie Monster is there waiting for them and behind him is a picture frame with a camera icon on it. Clicking on this camera will allow children to take a selfie that will then be displayed on the picture frame. This was a lot of fun for my little testers who giggled as they made all kinds of silly faces for the camera. I wish that they could save their photos on the camera roll, but as of now they are only saved in-app. Whenever children take a photo with the picture frame camera, a screenshot is saved showing the set of 4 cookies, Cookie Monster, and the picture frame with their selfie on it.

iPhone Screenshot 5

I think it is simply brilliant that they used a baking activity as a backdrop for teaching phonics and reading skills. Children love to help bake, and with Cookie Monster on hand and some Sesame Street kitchen magic, they are bound to get captivated by this app. My testers were definitely occupied for a good amount of time, having lots of fun putting words together and finding out what kind of cookie they would make.

Something I would like to see on a future update is a way to select the type of words used. This way children who have already mastered 3 letter words can skip ahead to four letter words. I also think this app would be useful for speech therapy to elicit language and work on articulation, so another great addition would be to be able to select specific consonants and
blends to target. Finally, on the saved photos, I would like to see the words shown under the cookie they made. This will help children review words they have learned. The app comes with 12 language settings for parents. The game is in English only, but parents can read the parent menu and settings in their language of choice. The parent section and external links are locked and can only be accessed by answering a multiplication question correctly.

Overall, I think that Sesame Street Kitchen is an excellent early reader app. It will appeal to its target audience who are bound to a lot of fun while learning how to read. If your little one loves Cookie Monster, then this app will definitely be a hit!

iTunes Link: Sesame Street Alphabet Kitchen – Sesame Street

Sesame Street Alphabet Kitchen Sesame Street Alphabet Kitchen by Sesame Street

Price: $2.99 USD

This is a vocabulary-building app, which will help your child practice early literacy skills by blending letter sounds to create words in Cookie Monster’s alphabet kitchen!

*** 2016 Cynopsis.



Learn to read with Monkey Junior – a homeschool curriculum in English, French by Early Start Co. Ltd – Review and Giveaway



image

What we love…

The different ways words are shown using text, images, videos and sounds.

What we’d love to see…

Pre-loaded lessons.

Summary

A fantastic app sure to teach children new words, phrases and simple sentences from a young age to first grade.

Our Rating

Monkey Junior by Early Start is an extensive reading app which is jam packed full of ways children can discover and learn new words and new sentences. The app covers hundreds of different topics with more than one hundred phonic rules. Each course contains thousands of words, videos, images, audios and different voices.

The app is free to download and includes several lessons in both US and UK English, and French which introduce new words on different topics. At this stage, these free lessons are available across easy, medium and advanced levels except for French which is only available at easy and medium levels. You have the option to get more free lessons by rating the app on iTunes or Facebook using connect and share.

An in-app purchase unlocks the full course in US or UK English or/and French which provides you with a total of 2,463 lessons!

To give you an example, the English US version has three difficulty levels: Easy (teaches single words, phrases), Medium (simple sentences) and Advanced (complicated sentences to help enhance first grade readers’ reading fluency and skills in sentence formation). Within each difficulty level, there are five separate levels and within those levels there are 60+ lessons.

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Each lesson teaches your child new words. You can either leave settings as they come standard so that each category of words is chosen or you can choose from each category (animals, wild animals, body parts, nature etc.).

Children can be shown those new words in a multi sensory way (showing a word as text, an image, a video and a sentence illustration to describe the words in some courses), using flash cards with adjustable speed, using phonics sounds, phonics games, sight words, read words by themselves or play a quiz game guessing the word by a sound or a picture which is then reinforced. Alternatively you can change the settings to show words using the multi sensory way, flash cards and quiz all at the same time.

image

The app includes a quick guide to show children and parents how to use it as well as a parents page which includes a general settings section, an app overview section, a content purchase section and a more apps section. Most are blocked by a parental gate which requires you to solve a simple math problem.

My three year old loves this app, we switch from English to French to learn new words. The app is very easy to use and she has no issues turning each page to learn new words, looking at pictures and videos and having a go at the games to earn new stickers.

This app is a wealth of knowledge and great for teaching children new words, new sentences in a simple yet effective way. The only issue I could find with this app is that lessons are not preloaded which means you need to download a new one each time. This can be an issue if your little one is a bit impatient and wants to keep going with the lessons. Downloading several lessons at a time whilst the little one is not using the iPad is recommended.

Overall, this is a fantastic app to teach children new words, phrases and simple sentences from a young age to first grade. This app is packed with so much information, a great resource which will be sure to teach your children something new every day.

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Monkey Junior: a homeschool curriculum, how to teach your child to read English, French

Monkey Junior: learn to read Monkey Junior: learn to read by Early Start Co. Ltd
Category: Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76, iPhoneXS-iPhoneXS, iPhoneXSMax-iPhoneXSMax, iPhoneXR-iPhoneXR, iPad812-iPad812, iPad834-iPad834, iPad856-iPad856, iPad878-iPad878
Size: 77.43 MB

$FREE

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