I think I'm the only human being alive without an iPad. I hope that changes, especially once Gentry gets older and we can start using some of the fun apps out there. I've been using some with students I tutor and I thought I'd share my FAVES
Montessori Crosswords: It is $2.99 but VERY worth it.
I love it for 3-7 year olds because it sounds out each letter as you touch it. For example, in the picture above, the app is making the "n" sound as the person is touching it. This is key for the ability to blend, segment and manipulate phonemes.
Don't know the word phonemes? They are the smallest units of sound, not necessarily letters. For example, SUN has three phonemes /s/ /u/ and /n/, but so does CHIP with /ch/ /i/ and /p/. Students who struggle with learning to read often find it difficult to blend these sounds together. So, if I said /s/ /u/ /n/ very slowly, they couldn't process the individual sounds and blend them into SUN. They also have a hard time manipulating the sounds, or changing the /s/ in front of SUN to an /f/ to make FUN. But enough of a lesson, back to the apps.
Sentence Maker: Teaches word order, sentence structure and is even customizable to your child's ability level. You can add your own text and sound to make funny and personal sentences. And we all know how making things relevant to your child's life will usually make the concept stick!
Bug Brained: This is a company with a whole line of apps specific to your child's level. Here is a first grade one having kids swat the uppercase letters.
And here is a Kindergarten leveled one where your child can touch the picture for the letter sound.
I'm going to do more apps over the next few weeks. So stay tuned for more. Gentry's napping and my long to-do list only give me time for three today. Anyone have any great ones out there to share?