Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2012
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Interactive Alphabet

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Learning letters, writing words, and touch typing from A to Z

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Teachers say (1 Review)
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Grades
Pre-K-1 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Adorable interactive illustrations and customization make learning letters and words fun.

Cons: No way to track letters covered or mastered.

Bottom Line: Rich, versatile tool can be used for a wide range of kindergarten literacy.

Interactive Alphabet is billed as a "cradle to kindergarten" app, so it certainly fits the bill for a kindergarten teacher with a range of literacy levels. Teachers can use the same app for kids just learning the alphabet, those learning to write individual letters, and those writing words. For kids ready for more of a challenge, teachers (or students themselves) can create custom flashcards using their own voice and images.

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Interactive Alphabet is quite versatile. Baby mode advances through the entire alphabet, one letter at a time, introducing the letter, its phonetic sound, and showing an interactive image of an object that begins with the letter. Explore mode lets kids choose which letter to explore and when to advance. They'll interact with an object from each letter, like eating an apple for A or feeding olives to an ogre for O. There's also a tracing mode, customizable for righties or lefties, for kids to learn how to write each letter and some words, as well as a typing mode to teach a bit of touch typing. It's incredibly customizable. Teachers or students can add their own photos, words, and voices to create custom flashcards that are then added to the letter mix. They can also choose uppercase, lowercase, or mixed case.

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The customization alone makes Interactive Alphabet is a great tool. As kids learn the words and letters, they can work with their own frequently used words (like names or cities) to really make learning relevant and meaningful. Creating the custom flash cards is easy enough that the kids can do it themselves. The range of skills covered makes it perfect for a kindergarten classroom where kids are coming in with a wide range of abilities -- some not knowing any letters and some reading independently. Kids will be engaged by the fun, interactive animations. It'd be nice if there was a way to track kids' progress through the letters or for teachers to set up student accounts with the custom cards, but even without that, this app provides excellent practice.

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Overall Rating
4

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

Kids will have fun playing with the interactive features for each letter, such as zipping a zipper for z or popping lighted bubbles as they trace letters.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
4

The four options of exploring letters adapt as kids learn -- from learning the ABCs to learning phonetic sounds to writing letters and then reading words. Kids develop a deep understanding of letters and sounds and word-building.

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

The app is very intuitive and a help screen gives clues about interacting with the animated features. A finger guides kids who mistrace letters. No data is collected about which letters kids have mastered or are struggling with.


Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

4
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Featured review by
Summer M. , Other
Other
4
Colorful interactive alphabet game that ranges from simply singing the song to tracing letters and words.

I really like this app for low literacy and special needs students. Starting at the "baby" level the app goes through the entire alphabet in sequential order time stating the letter, the sound and a picture. At the "explore" level the user can skip through the letters in any particular order. Letter case can be chosen from within the settings. At the "trace" level both letters and words can be traced and your own pictures can be uploaded. Depending upon the students level, I change the settings to meet their needs. I like to use this as extra practice for those that need a little boost.

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