Teacher Review For Alpha Writer, by Montessorium

Engaging and Effective Word Practice

Margaret A P.
Director of STEAM Innovation
The Agnes Irwin School
Rosemont, PA
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My Grades 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts
EdTech Mentor
My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 4
Pedagogy 5
Support 4
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Further application
Knowledge gain
Small group
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
How I Use It
I have used this app with small groups of kindergarten students, each using a device to practice recognizing letters, letter sounds, blends, and writing. The students enjoyed trying all of the different activities, especially the Alpha Spy game where they had to match the correct object/picture to a beginning letter sound. The storyboard activity was less well received because spelling words by scrolling through letters seemed to feel tedious to the students and the lost interest fairly quickly.
My Take
Overall, I think this is a great app for students to practice phonemic awareness and apply their knowledge of phonograms. The tangible aspect of the app is great for students when they are just starting to explore letters and sounds and build connections between them. The app does a great job providing audio instructions for each activity and reinforcement whenever a letter or picture is touched. Students also really enjoyed the three artists and the variety of pictures that are available in the app. It would be great if there was a way to track which activities and specific words/sounds different children have practiced in the app and I also wish you could easily save the stories created in the Storyboard activities aside from taking a screenshot. If there was an option to capture a recording of it, including the audio of the letters and pictures, that would be even better. I appreciated that the app does not reward or penalize children for choosing the correct letter, phonogram, or picture, depending on the activity. Instead, the letter simply fits into place or does not move and the sounds are repeated.