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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What 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.
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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?
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: phonics, reading, spelling
- Skills: Self-Direction: academic development
Health & Fitness: fine motor skills
- Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
- Pricing structure: Free to try, Free (You can buy packs of words for $4.99 each, or a bundle for $11.99.)
- 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
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.