OG Card Deck

App review by
Ashley Kemper, Common Sense Media
OG Card Deck App Poster Image
Practical, evidence-based video practice to learn phonemes.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to form phonemes found in the English language through the Orton-Gillingham (OG) multisensory method for learning language, beginning with the consonant sounds and working all the way through to suffix endings. 

Ease of Play

Easy-to-use platform with on-screen directions available.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that OG Card Deck is a speech and language tool that provides intentional practice of English phonemes and graphemes, which are letters that produce a specific sound. Kids can access a list of consonants, single vowels, consonant digraphs, vowel teams, R-controlled vowels, short vowel signals, vowel-consonant-e combinations, and suffixes to reinforce spelling and word construction rules. OG Card Deck provides support for kids who have difficulty spelling or effectively constructing words when writing. There's no assessment or data component of the platform: It's strictly designed as practice for the Orton-Gillingham method of word learning, which is a multisensory approach to literacy. At the time of review, no privacy policy is available, though the terms of use are available on the developer's website.

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What's it about?

OG CARD DECK acts as a reference for phoneme sounds, which are the sounds that make up words. Users select the type of sounds they want to practice by selecting the menu icon at the top left of the screen. Options include consonants, single vowels, consonant digraphs, vowel teams, R-controlled vowels, short vowel signals, vowel-consonant-e combinations, and suffixes with multisensory input options. Kids can hear the phoneme said aloud while the corresponding letters are on the screen, or they can watch a video of how someone's mouth might move to form that specific phoneme. Example words that follow that pattern appear so kids can see how it's used. Kids can also practice spelling by using the Multiple Spelling Practice tab at the bottom of the menu page. With this feature, users write down the words or sounds they hear on a real piece of paper and can check their progress by revealing the phoneme.

Is it any good?

For kids who struggle to spell or who might benefit from extra time to internalize specific phonemes (letter sounds), this app is amazing. The videos in OG Card Deck are short and simple, which makes targeting specific sounds easy and effective. Note that data isn't collected through this app; it's meant primarily to be a practice tool with a lot of well-designed content. Also, it's not the kind of app that will immediately appeal to kids, since its look and feel aren't particularly kid-friendly, but as a part of a bigger program, it offers a proven approach that helps kids learn foundational reading and spelling skills.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how different sounds or words make your mouth change as you use OG Card Deck. Practice saying simple consonants, such as "-b" or "-d," while exaggerating your movements with your mouth. Have kids mirror you or try to guess how to spell the sound your mouth is making.

  • Talk about more complex word constructions. Have kids listen for how words are broken into phonemes or have them guess how to spell longer words by using what they learned while practicing.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, phonics, spelling
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: March 16, 2016
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 68.70 MB
  • Publisher: Mayerson Academy
  • Version: 2.0.1
  • Minimum software requirements: 7.1
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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