Tablet based versions of the app could be projected for whole class or small group viewing of videos and to demonstrate reading and matching activities. You could also model using the "say it" buttons (an ear with sound lines) and the sentence strip word blends, so students are sure to practice their reading and speaking skills when they work with the app individually either at school or at home. An added record feature would give teachers and students a powerful before and after assessment tool.Continue reading Show less
Starfall Learn to Read is a complete beginning phonics instruction and practice resource. Its colorful main menu features 15 panels; click on any one of them for an activity to engage emergent readers. You'll find instructional songs and videos, complete-the-word activities, concentration matching games, and more. Standards content includes blending, isolating, short and long vowels, vowel pairs, and consonant digraphs. Arrows on every page allow kids to explore freely, but if they work in order, completed levels earn kids verbal praise, stars, and a review of what they've learned.
Starfall Learn to Read offers an impressive array of dynamic and interactive phonics lessons in auditory, visual, and tactile learning styles. Instructional songs illustrate lessons with lyrics like "When two vowels go a walkin', the first one does the talkin'," and videos feature original characters like Queen Emphasis (shaped like an exclamation point, of course) who shapes the story of the alphabet. Goofy sounds and characters like Zac the Rat and Spot the Dog featured in full read-aloud sentences make learning challenging and fun for students as high as grade 2.
Data reporting is mostly age appropriate but could be more thorough, for instance, they could highlight progress with a star system displayed on the main menu. Another nit-picky improvement? It would be nice to have the main menu and submenu activities named more clearly and consistently. A final gripe: the Android version does freeze up occasionally.
Key Standards Supported
Spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships.
Reading Foundational Skills
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
Know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs.
Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.
Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.
Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words.
Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including consonant blends.
Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words.
Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds (phonemes).
Distinguish long and short vowels when reading regularly spelled one-syllable words.
Read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding.
Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary or many of the most frequent sound for each consonant.
Associate the long and short sounds with common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.
Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g., the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).
Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words.
Blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words.
Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonent-vowel-consonent, or CVC) words.* (This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/.)
Add or substitute individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one-syllable words to make new words.
Follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page.
Recognize that spoken words are represented in written language by specific sequences of letters.
Understand that words are separated by spaces in print.
Recognize and name all upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet.
Speaking & Listening
Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.