Intro to Letters, by Montessorium

 

Learning(i)

Digital sandpaper letters and sounds for preschool practice.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Intro to Letters is intuitive and easy to use. In addition, each page has an info button explaining the activity on the page.

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

Intro to Letters contains a link to the publisher's website where kids can view other apps available for purchase.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

The main page of the app includes a "Share" button allowng users to share information about the app via email, Twitter, Facebook.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Intro to Letters, by Montessorium is an educational app designed to help children recognize, pronounce, and write lowercase letters, capital letters, and phonograms (letter combinations that make a single sound). The app includes three types of activities: 1) plays a letter sound or name aloud as kids trace it, 2) plays a letter sound followed by the letter name, and 3) allows kids to record and listen to themselves saying a letter sound or name (requires a microphone). Each activity includes a short description of the intended goal from a Montessori perspective, which can be helpful for parents who want to reinforce the skills beyond the app.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing
  • letter or word recognition
  • naming
  • phonics
  • reading

Skills

Communication

  • listening
  • speaking

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Kids who are just learning their letters may be excited about this app, but it's not one they'll pull out just for fun. Still, it has an appeal that pencil and paper may not hold, and allows kids to explore on their own.

Learning Approach

With a hyper focus on pairing letter sounds with shapes, Intro to Letters shines in terms of content delivery but misses the mark on going beyond the interactive worksheet approach.

Support

Directions are clear, but there's no way to track which letters kids have practiced or to see if they're struggling in any area.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing
  • letter or word recognition
  • naming
  • phonics
  • reading

Skills

Communication

  • listening
  • speaking

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Kids can learn letter sounds and letter names and practice tracing uppercase and lowercase letters in Intro to Letters, by Montessorium. The practice focuses on individual letters as well as on 15 two-letter phonograms (letters or letter combinations that make a single sound). Kids can also develop listening and speaking skills as they hear and record themselves saying the letter sounds and names. Although kids may not beg to play Intro to Letters, by Montessorium, they'll benefit from any time spent with this smart early literacy app.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Wilkey Oh

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

Kids play with a digital version of sandpaper letters, a tool used for teaching early reading skills in Montessori settings. Activities include early literacy exercises designed to promote auditory, visual, and muscular memory. Kids trace letters with their fingers, hear letter sounds and letter names, and record themselves saying letter sounds and letter names. The app interactions feel like quiet, educational play with calm and clear narration, simple wooden letters, and no flashy animations or sounds.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Intro to Letters, by Montessorium is a great looking, high quality educational app for toddlers and preschoolers. It's not a game, so kids may not beg to play with it, but it's colorful and interactive and makes excellent use of touch screen capabilities. Letter names and sounds are pronounced clearly, which is essential for learning apps. iPod Touch users should note that they'll need headphones with a built-in mic to be able to use that feature. The app is a bit pricey, but it's also well-designed.

Families can talk about...

  • Encourage kids to follow through with an entire activity before moving on to the next; some activities have multiple parts that build on one another.

  • Practice letter sounds, letter names, and tracing letters with your kids using real sandpaper letters.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$4.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:March 4, 2013
Category:Education
Size:151.00 MB
Publisher:Montessorium, LLC
Version:1.5
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of Intro to Letters, by Montessorium 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.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 2 and 5 year old Written byOteach April 15, 2011
age 2+
 

Well-designed ABC app.

Clear and age appropriate.
What other families should know
Educational value

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass