PocketPhonics Stories is an award-winning, step-by-step reading program for 4 to 7 year-olds. It’s the new and expanded version of PocketPhonics, an app that's used in over a hundred Australian primary schools. It guides children through the literacy journey, beginning with teaching them their first letter sounds and ending with them having read 42 stories within the app by themselves.
PocketPhonics Stories won 2015 Best Learning Apps & Games award from Balefire Labs. Out of the 5000 education apps they’ve reviewed, it's one of only nine app they rate A+. It's also an Academic Choices Award Winner.
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PocketPhonics Stories uses the synthetic phonics method used in Australian schools.
There is also a free-to-try version of this app with a $2.99 monthly subscription.
PocketPhonics Stories is split in to 12 groups of letter sounds, each group is followed by a set of storybooks that contain those letter sounds. Once the child has mastered one group of letter sounds, they progress to reading the storybooks that tests their knowledge of these letter sounds. They read storybooks that are on the right level for them. Once that task is completed they then move on to the next group of sounds, and so on.
In the first group of letter sounds, there are six sounds to master before the child will be able to complete their first storybook. Most children of four and over will start to read their first storybook within 10 weeks if they are using the app for 15 minutes every day.
Parents and teachers can easily monitor children’s progress online. They can see what stage the child is currently at, any letter sounds they are having difficulty with and what storybooks have been read. Furthermore, teachers and parents are also emailed a certificate when a child completes a task. These certificates are a much-loved feature of the original PocketPhonics app, which launched in 2008 and has been downloaded over half a million times.
In PocketPhonics Stories, children can tap an unfamiliar word in a story, and the app will sound out the letters to help the child understand what the word says. If that’s not enough, they can tap again to hear the actual word and see a picture that illustrates its meaning.
The storybooks gradually introduce high-frequency words like “the” and “to” that are harder to read because they follow less common spelling rules. Words that the child is likely to find difficult to read in a story are highlighted in red. This takes into account what the app has learned about the child’s phonics knowledge and ability to read longer words.
As the child reads a story, the app will check that they can read and understand some of its new words.
At the end of the story, the app tests the child on all the new words in that story. Each word is spoken in turn, and the child has to select the written form of the word. Only once they are able to correctly identify all the words in all the books on this level, does the app move on to teach them the next group of letter sounds.
Specifically, children master the following skills:
* writing letters (two different writing styles plus cursive option)
* recognising 72 letter sounds (e.g. ‘ch’ are the letters that make the initial sound in ‘chat’)
* blending letter sounds together to make words (e.g ‘ch-a-t’)
* hearing a word and selecting its written form (e.g. the app says, “chat”, the child has to select ‘chat’ from a group of words - some of which are similar to chat)
Teachers don't need to worry about making sure kids have the same iPad each lesson. If a child switches iPads, they automatically continue learning from where they finished previously. Children can use the app at home, and continue from where they left off at school.
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Fix for when the app listens to the child read
Ratings and Reviews
I love this app and think it's wonderful. The students I use it with think it's wonderful as well. I think any teacher who has an iPad should use this with students that need some extra help. And parents it's also great for home.... Best buy ever.
lots of possibilities
this is a very expensive app, but a great resource. Little annoying that when you unlock a level for a child it doesn't stay unlocked. Also an Australian accent for the voice would be a great addition.
Up to six family members will be able to use this app with Family Sharing enabled.