Today’s app shout out is for Lakeshore Learning Apps! Who hasn’t heard about Lakeshore Learning? If you have been around any preschool or elementary school, you have probably seen their name on learning materials, furniture, toys, play tables, educational materials, etc. Now they have started to develop apps. Currently, they are offering two apps for free. I suspect that they are testing these apps in the user market, and there is a strong probability that these will become paid apps at some future date.
The first app is a great early phonemic awareness app for children who are learning to hear beginning sounds of words. I like how user friendly this app is since it emphasizes the listening skills that are necessary to build phonemic awareness. It avoids the issue of reading vocabulary and shifts the emphasis on their verbal vocabulary by using commonly recognized objects. It is really great that it allows the learner to try again by reloading the marble to be matched in the queue if the attempt is incorrect. You have the choice of randomizing play or selecting specific letter sounds to emphasize.
Recommended for children beginning to learn to read (preschool to K). This app is user friendly enough to be effective with an older toddler/young preschooler with some parental assistance if your child is an early reader like M.
The second app is a fun adaption of the classic tic-tac-toe game for learning phonics skills. To claim a square as an X or O, you have to answer the question posed correctly. These questions cover these phonics skills: blends, digraphs, beginning sounds, counting syllables, ending sounds and identifying sounds in words. This is a pretty fun way to reinforce what is sometimes a dry and difficult task for the early reader: mastering phonics.
Recommended for early elementary. This can be adapted for use with younger children with parental assistance.