Talk, sing, write and play; Share a story everyday

Apps for Reading Instruction (Phonics, Sight Words, Spelling, etc.)


Apps for Literacy and Phonics

Super Readers:

Super Readers - A Dolch Sight Words Based Story Book App That Will Help Turn Your Child Into a Super Reader!Dolch sight words are used to create short stories.  Once the child learns a handful of sight words,  they can immediately feel the accomplishment of reading a short story. Click here to buy Android version from Amazon   Also available from iTunes App Store.

Pluses:  Can turn off the background music; Easy levels has one sentence per page; Words are highlighted when they are read; Press on a word and it will highlight and be read; Children can record themselves reading the sentence

 Minuses: No games, just reading; Limited animation; No kinesthetic reinforcement of word shapes i.e. having children trace individual words

Bob Books Reading Magic:

Children read through very short books with controlled vocabulary.  Words are highlighted as they are read.  There are also games such as matching letters, practicing left-to-right reading order, spelling and then picking letters to spell words.  Bob books have been a standard in early literacy instruction  since they first came out, and happily their App continues that tradition.

There are two versions of this App:  Reading Magic and Reading Magic 2.  Click on the link to go to the company site, and there are links to buy from Apple, Google Play and Amazon.

Pluses:  Can turn the background sound off; Letter sounds are said when child presses on the letter; Words are sounded out phonetically letter by letter, then said in their entirety; Readers must put the letters down in order from left to right — good for dyslexics AND for enforcing with kids that it’s just not getting the letters in a word — you have to do them in order.

Minuses:  None.  This is a really good app for early readers.

Hairy Letters

 Creatures introduce children to all the letters of the alphabet.  The user selects a letter or letter combinations, they hear the sound and then are invited to trace the letters.  Games will have the student hear the sound and select the corresponding letter.  Only available for iTunes:  Here is the Nessy Company website with a link to iTunes.

Pluses:    Kinesthetic reinforcement when children trace letters; Directionality of letter instruction is demonstrated, if traced incorrectly, the student is prompted to try again; Visual dictionary, click on the word and see a picture of that item; Students receive rewards,  with the option to play a game when you complete a level, and receive stars when you get one correct.

Minuses:  Would be nice to have short stories and sentences created with the words that are studied.  Overall, a very nice app.

The Spelling Bee

Users select pre-loaded lists or a self created list there are students play the following activities to practice spelling words.  Click here to buy Android version from Amazon;   Click here to buy from iTunes.

Pluses:  Arranged by grade level; Parents or student can create a word list*; Can record pronunciation and use words in a sentence**

*This is a great way for kids to practice school spelling words with at home.  This is a really great list for parents and adults to use to practice spelling lists from school.  While machines can’t substitute for parent involvement, they can provide a way for a struggling student to practice without frustrating an adult who feels the child “should be getting it!”  The student can work at their level and take as many practice attempts as needed without the instructor becoming aggravated, thus allowing the student to practice in a more harmonious and less tense environment.

**  Because of this, you can practice non-English  words!

Minuses:  Cannot play all the games with a self-created list.  However, the fact that you can create your own spelling list is awesome!

Pocket Phonics

Children practice saying letters, tracing the letter with their finger, and sounding out short words made up from sight words from “k-1 sight word lists”. <— At a later date I will definitively verify whether or not these are Dolch sight words, but I think some are, and some aren’t.  Click here to go to company website and link to iTunes store.

Pluses:  Letter is said out loud; Can adjust for an American or UK accent; Directionality is given to trace the letter; Letters are also sounded out to spell simple words; Can scroll through to harder letter combination sounds like “oa”; Sound effects can be turned off; Choice of writing style: D’Nealian or ZanerBloser; Select for right and left-handedness.


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