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RoundUp July 2015 – Early Literacy Fun

Summer is a great time to get your child’s reading skills ahead of the pack before school starts, and a great time for teachers to find the best apps for early literacy for the fall. Tons of apps on the market say they teach students to read. App Ed Review has sorted through the early literacy apps and found four gems to share with you. If you like what you see, be sure to check out our website with over 500 apps – covering literacy, math, science, social studies, and more – each reviewed by certified teachers at App Ed Review. Every app review includes an original app description, a comprehensive evaluation, and 3-5 instructional ideas explaining how to use the app in your classroom.


  1. Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read- Preschool and Kindergarten Sight Words, Reading Games, Vowel Sounds is an early literacy app that comes from the household name: Hooked on Phonics. This app provides scaffolding for students as they learn to sound out letters, and ultimately, words. When students start Hooked on Phonics, they must watch videos, listen to songs, and explore books and activities in multi-step sequences. Each step must be completed before students can move on to the next unit. Hooked on Phonics records student achievements for easy reference, and features a “My Words” section which lets students create sentences with word segments on a digital whiteboard. Scoring an 8.7 in Design on our comprehensive rubric, Hooked on Phonics provides a superb introduction to reading! For more ideas and information about this app, click here.
  2. Raz-Kids engages students while teaching them to read through their collection of tiered books and quizzes. Students select a book and the app reads the book out loud to them. If students missed something or want to pause and rewind to listen to or read a section of the book again, they can touch the easy to use interface. After reading the book and following along with the narration, students take a short 5-10 question test during which students can reference the text. After students complete the test they can always go back and use the “Read” button to re-read the book independently and students can even record themselves reading the book with the record function denoted by the microphone icon. When finished, students can share their narrations via the “Send” button. Raz-Kids scored a commendable 9.1 out of 10 in our Design category. For instructional ideas and more, click here!
  3. Learn With Homer houses several lessons and tutorials designed to engage your young readers in literacy development! From the app’s main menu, students can choose from a variety of activities, such as Brain Games, Story Time, Discover the World, and more! Each of the activities includes colorful pictures, interactive lessons, and engaging designs that will capture your younger readers’ attention! With high scores for its high-quality design, interactive interface, and rigor level, it is no wonder why Learn with Homer won the 2015 Teacher’s Choice Award! For ideas about using Learn With Homer n your classroom, click here!
  4. News-O-Matic is a daily newspaper created for elementary school students. News-O-Matic publishes a new edition each school day, and it contains a host of information and activities for students. Each edition contains current event articles. When students click on an article, they can access its full text, check out facts related to the article, view images and videos connected to the article, have the app read the article to them, annotate the article, and access a Spanish version of the article, among many other options! From the main menu, students can also access the app’s games and News Room, both of which give students more opportunities to read articles and complete text-based activities. News-O-Matic has earned high scores for its interest level, accommodation of students’ individual differences, and ease of use among other categories, this app is sure to find a place in your classroom. To view our full report, click here.


That’s all for this month’s Roundup.  If you would like more information about any of the apps mentioned here or that are on the App Ed Review website, please contact us at info@appedreview.org. And remember, if the app has text, it can be used for reading!