This summer, I am working with several preschools and kindergarten-aged clients who need some exposure to early literacy drills. Conveniently enough, a well known and experienced speech blogger, Jenna at Speech Room News, recently listed a number of literacy apps that she has found very helpful in her practice. This review is on one of the apps recommended by Jenna: Starting Sounds from the I Can Do Apps Company.
This particular app has a nice range of five play levels. The first is a teaching stage that displays one actual photo image of an object along with an audio button that states the name of the item. I really liked this feature since this level is exactly where my little ones need some exposure. Level two kicks it up a notch by asking the user to identify which of the two, vivid picture images starts with the same sound as the written target. Once you show progress at this level, you can proceed to the next, which has you match the starting sound in the target image with one of the two choices below. This time, you are not told the target sound as in the previous level. All you see are picture images. Level four mimics level three in direction, but this time, you must find the match when shown three answer choices. The final level is a matching game that requires playing with an adult present. After finding matches, the user must name another object that begins with the same sound as the match. I really like how the developers used a fun matching activity to work on this higher level naming task, especially since it requires a communication partner. I would much rather see clients engaging in-app play socially, with a partner as opposed to sitting in isolation to play on a phone or iPad.
For my purposes, this app has everything I needed and more to expose young clients to early literacy skills. At $2.99, this is a reasonably priced, comprehensive app worth every penny.
Here is what the developers have to say about the Starting Sounds app:
Alliteration, repetition of the initial consonant sound, is a phonological awareness skill important for the development of reading, comprehension, and spelling. This interactive teaching tool can be used by parents, teachers, therapists and individuals to further develop the ability to listen, identify and manipulate individual sounds crucial for learning.
-Teaching tool for speech, language and reading development
-Develops phonological awareness crucial for reading and listening skills
-Pictures of real objects
-Developed by a Speech Language Pathologist
-Option to hear question and answer options
-Random questions - no two sessions are alike
-Manually flip pages for teaching purposes
-Multiple levels of increasing difficulty
-Randomized auditory reinforcement
About the Author
Nanette Cote, MA, CCC-SLP has her own speech-language practice, Therapediatrics. She is a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist in Naperville, Illinois who was has been practicing Speech Pathology for close to two decades. Her blog, speech2me, was named one of the top Speech-Language blogs for 2012. For more information about this practitioner, please visit speech2me Blog or Facebook