Endless Reader

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Super engaging, but an ineffective way to learn sight words.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Drag-and-drop interaction is prompted by cues if kids don't respond. Lots of interactive elements are included.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

An in-app purchase ($4.99) is required to unlock the full alphabet. The free version includes six words, one for each letter A through F. You can buy more word packs for $4.99, or a bundle for $11.99.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

The privacy policy explains the information collected (both personal and anonymous) and how it's used. The app doesn't request personal information from kids under 13. Parent information is protected behind combination on a locked screen.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Endless Reader is presented as a free app in the App Store but that only gets access to try out the app with six sight words -- all, ball, cake, dog, eat, and funny. It'll cost $4.99 to unlock the other 20 words from the rest of the alphabet; additional packs are also $4.99 each.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • phonics
  • reading
  • spelling

Skills

Self-Direction

  • academic development

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Adorable animations and word illustrations engage kids while demonstrating word and sentence meanings.

Learning Approach

New words may not transfer effectively into usage due to confusion between phonetic sounds when dragging letters not matching with the word. Kids will explore the words on their own but the challenge does not adapt based on performance.

Support

No data is tracked to show words mastered. Extension word lists are available as an in-app purchase.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • phonics
  • reading
  • spelling

Skills

Self-Direction

  • academic development

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Kids can learn to recognize 26 different sight words. The letters also include phonics, so kids will pick up on the most common phonetic sound for the letters. Kids will have repeated exposure to the sight words as they complete the sentence puzzles, matching the correct words. Kids may find the differences in phonetic rules confusing, though, hearing the most common phonetic sound even if it doesn't match the sound in the given word. Endless Reader is an engaging app for learning vocabulary, but it falls short for sight reading and phonics learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

What's it about?

ENDLESS READER introduces kids to sight words and phonics with interactive animations that demonstrate the meaning of the words as well as how to spell them. Each word is presented as a card inside a monster's mouth. Kids scroll through the cards to choose the word they want to explore. When they tap the card, they'll hear the word and see it written before it gets scrambled up. Kids then use the outline of the word's letters to match the right letter and drag it into place in the word. As they touch the letter, they'll hear its phonetic sound and name. They'll then drag different sight words into place in a sentence. They'll hear the sentence read aloud and see a cute animation demonstrating the sentence. From there, kids can play around with the animation, tapping to see letters fly around, listen to the sentence again, or move on to another word and letter.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The animations are adorable, and the illustrations demonstrating the meaning of the words are not only cute but effective. The word dog, for example, is drawn and colored to look like a dog. The problem comes in with the disparity between the idea of a sight word -- a word that is recognized without sounding it out -- and the phonetic sound for each letter that kids will hear when they touch the letter. Touching the e in cake, kids will hear the short e sound and get no explanation of silent e in that word. It's confusing. For early readers, focus on one or the other -- sight words or phonics -- to avoid confusion.

There's also not much content included for the price -- six free words and $4.99 for 20 more.  

Families can talk about...

  • Read aloud to kids and let them fill in certain sight words (start with letting them read the word "the" in a short picture book. 

  • Point out words on signs to help kids recognize common words and names by sight.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free (with in-app purchases)
Pricing structure:Free, Free to Try
Release date:May 20, 2014
Category:Education
Topics:Monsters, ghosts, and vampires, Numbers and letters
Size:48.70 MB
Publisher:Originator Inc.
Version:1.4
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later

This review of Endless Reader was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written bytracyd2 July 27, 2015
 
LEARNING

I love this for a pre-reader!!

My daughter (soon to be 4) and I LOVED playing with this app. It is a fun way to learn the phonetic sounds of letters and visually see where they land in a word, and also while the child "helps" compile a sentence, he or she can hear the word being pronounced over and over. I like that. I swear my daughter learned a couple words while moving them to their places in the sentences. It does have some draw backs, but those are made up for, for the most part, in a sister app called Endless Wordplay, where the phonetic sounds are announced of the letters and words, the word is repeated after it is complied, and the app forces the child to put the letters in order. The Endless Reader is a really fun start for a non-reader to play with letters, fun animal/monsters, and watch cute videos of the words in action. We had loads of fun playing it, and now we are already loving Endless Word Play. I am thrilled that my daughter WANTS to play these! Other educational games haven't held her interest this long.

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