Starfall Learn to Read

Common Sense Media says

Great reading activities fit a range of skill levels.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The app is easy to use and encourages exploration. Kids and parents would benefit from a little more instruction to help find some of the app's great features.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Starfall Learn to Read is an app version of the stellar learn-to-read website, Starfall. The app has the same content as the "Learn to Read" section of the site. There are 15 mini-books, each focusing on a specific vowel, along with videos and activities to enhance literacy learning. As with other Starfall apps, the thorough and careful design keeps kids focused on learning.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • phonics
  • reading

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Videos, instructional songs, cute characters and graphics combine for a fun experience.

Learning Approach

Clearly informed by classroom teachers, this app puts basic phonics concepts and multiple learning styles to work.

Support

Panel menu provides easy access, but there's no in-app link or reference to extensive web-based resources.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • phonics
  • reading

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information

Kids can learn to make that difficult transition from knowing their letters and letter sounds to actually reading. Starfall Learn to Read provides great features to help kids of differing skill levels. If kids are struggling, they can tap on a word to hear it sounded out and see each part of the word highlighted. If kids are pre-readers, they can tap on the sound icon to hear the sentence read aloud. With each mini-book, kids get exposure to the target sounds with plenty of repetition. Starfall's Learn to Read, with its well-designed books and activities, is an excellent tool for helping kids boost skills.

This Learning Rating review was written by Cynthia Chiong

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

In STARFALL LEARN TO READ, kids choose from a set of mini-books, each of which includes a cute song and short plot using words with the featured vowel sound. On each page, kids can read a sentence on their own, get help on pronunciation, and hear a sentence read aloud. An illustration sometimes animates or requires kids to interact by tapping on items. When kids finish the book portion, they can play related activities such as fill-in-the-blanks or matching and watch a fun video about print concepts.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Starfall Learn to Read really maximizes on the learning in a fun way. It takes every opportunity to label the letters and letter sounds. Even as kids tap on the "next" arrow, the arrow turns into the target letter and kids can hear the letter sound again. The mini-books have a nice progression when kids read them in order. For each vowel sound, there's a good mix of reading, games, songs, and videos. It would be nice to label each mini-book so that if parents and kids wanted to practice a specific vowel sound, they could easily find the appropriate book. While it's fun to see how they've incorporated some interactive elements into the activities, those who use the website will find few surprises.

Families can talk about...

  • Watch along to help your kids read the mini-books. Have them tap on words they are struggling with to hear the pronunciation.

  • Ask your kids what sounds and words they learned and try to point them out in everyday contexts.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Price:$2.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:September 6, 2012
Category:Education
Size:35.70 MB
Publisher:Starfall Education
Version:1.2.6
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later

This review of Starfall Learn to Read was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byAnitaT March 16, 2013
AGE
4
QUALITY
 
LEARNING
Teen, 15 years old Written byhpofficejet6500 January 2, 2013
AGE
3
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Must visit site!

I went on the website all the time when I was younger, the website reads everything aloud and is interactive so it really makes children want to learn to read! Definitely recommend it!
What other families should know
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