Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated June 2013
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Endless Alphabet

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Adorable animated monsters teach sophisticated vocabulary

Subjects & skills
  • English Language Arts

  • Character & SEL
  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (11 Reviews)

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5 images

Pros: The animated definitions make learning the word meanings easy and fun.

Cons: No checks for understanding make it hard to know how much kids are retaining.

Bottom Line: Animated words and definitions grab kids' attention and introduce challenging and unique vocabulary.

Use Endless Alphabet as a way to introduce vivid words for students to incorporate into their writing or vocabulary. Kids can view the animations on-screen as a whole-class activity. They can also explore the endless alphabet on their own. Since no assessment is built in, you could have students choose a word or two to incorporate into their writing. After using Endless Alphabet for a while, kids could also mimic the format to create skits demonstrating the meaning of other words, acting out or drawing their definitions.

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Endless Alphabet is a charming spelling and vocabulary app for young readers. A monster's mouth is full of words in alphabetical order. Kids scroll through and select a word and then see and hear the word, put the word back together with phonetic sounds for each letter, and watch an animation demonstrating the word's meaning. It's "endless" because new words are added regularly. These aren't the typical words of preschool phonics apps, either. No "C is for cat" here -- rather, "C is for cooperate." Kids will learn other great vocabulary like bellow, gargantuan, opera, and quarrel.

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Kids work at their own pace with no objective or goals beyond exploring the words. Since the app isn't linear, kids can take charge of their learning by choosing the path they take through the words. The animations demonstrate meaning in an unforgettable and concrete way -- kids see a monster grow from normal size to gargantuan or watch as the word invisible appears when paint is thrown on it. The app itself offers no opportunity for kids to apply what they've learned, but a creative teacher could easily come up with fun extension activities. The name of Endless Alphabet may be misleading. This is more of a vocabulary and phonics app than a way to learn the alphabet.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Cute monsters and clever animations engage kids in exploring words and letters.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Kids can connect word meanings to the real world through the adorable animations, and the phonetic pronunciations teach letter sounds. However, there are no opportunities for kids to demonstrate or apply what they've learned.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Words are added regularly to keep the content fresh, but kids can't track which words they've mastered. No tips or extension activities are available.

Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 11 reviews) (11 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Ariel S. , Homeschooling parent
Homeschooling parent
Children stay extremely engaged in this app and are eager to do it again.
This product makes a great teaching tool because of its accessibility and way of drawing students into practicing letter sounds and building vocabulary. The students are eager to use the product because it is fun and uses interesting voices and adorable monsters to reiterate letter sounds. It can be used for additional practice of letter sounds, but shouldn't serve as an initial exposure to letter sounds. This app serves as supplemental learning tool, and I let students use it after they have learned their initial letter sounds. The app doesn't directly teach letter sounds, but it provides a way for students to practice letter sounds and match the sound with the letter image. It's also a fun way for students to learn new words and expand their vocabulary. My students' favorite word from the app tends to be gargantuan --what a fun word to hear from the mouths of kindergarteners! Read full review