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

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Teachers say (10 Reviews)
$avg_user_learning_rating
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Grades
Pre-K-2 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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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
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

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?
3

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?
2

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

4
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Featured review by
Christi H. , Media specialist/librarian
Media specialist/librarian
Willow Bend Elementary School
Lubbock, TX
3
Great way to engage students in learning letter sounds!

Overall, I like the app - more so than my rating indicates. The app is limited in the grand scheme of things, but is excellent for introducing letter sounds. There is an interactive component and students can drag the letter to continue hearing the letter sound. The completed word rewards students with animation that they seem to enjoy as well.

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