Building a strong reader begins with a series of five steps in the Learn to Read system. An attention grabbing musical number takes center stage to show off the talents of letter A and present its sound. But A doesn’t act alone, there is a supporting cast to build the stories. Unit 1 is a three part mini-series where A is joined by the consonants T, N and P. They team up to teach how to make a segment blend of -at, -an, and -ap. Kids can touch other letters to pop them into words like cat, fan and map. Now its time to rehearse those words and use them in a final production storyline. Special helper sight words make guest appearances too.
This system isn’t just for first time readers either. Some children struggle with understanding how blending and segments work into the early elementary grades. I liked the tap and slide approaches used in this app. For example “l” and “ap” enter on opposite sides of the screen and say their sound. The physical motion of sliding the “l” over to “ap” and listening to them speak together to form the word “lap” can help children who are kinesthetic learners. I know that some children with print disabilities find that making a physical connection to a cognitive process helps them remember.
Like most good series this free introduction left me wanting to see more. The program includes additional books for each unit and other units which are all available for purchase. At the $3.99 unit price I would have liked all of the books to be incorporated, since their plot is very simple. That said, I think the Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read series has what is takes to help your child climbing to the top as a reading star.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this app for review purposes.