It’s never too early for youngsters to start learning their ABCs, the building blocks of literacy. Identifying letters, organizing them and combining them to form simple words are among the important early literacy skills children should develop as early as kindergarten.
For teachers, a good way to help young learners practice and boost literacy skills is to supplement classroom instruction with an educational app.
A good app to consider is “Alphabet Organizer,” developed by ReadWriteThink in partnership with the International Literacy Association and the National Council of Teachers of English. It targets young learners from kindergarten through fourth grade and works with most digital tablets.
The focus of the app is to help students organize letters, words and ideas alphabetically. Topics and exercises include:
- Alphabet letters
- Word identification
Projects created using the app include alphabet letter charts for younger students and alphabet pages using multiple words that can be compiled into an alphabet book for older students.
How it works
Students using the app for the first time are prompted to create a profile name and choose an avatar image from the app or an image from the photo library on their device. Multiple users can create profiles on the same device; their profile settings and projects will be saved.
After tapping the “Start” button onscreen, students are guided through creating a project. For younger students, building an alphabet chart is a great way to learn and memorize the alphabet and to place letters in the right order. Older students can create alphabet pages with multiple words, descriptions and images. Each page is compiled into an alphabet book and illustrated with the student’s own pictures or drawings.
Tapping the “Save” button when finished or taking a break will close a project and place a draft of it on a student’s device, where it can be accessed later. Students who finish an alphabet book can tap the “Send” button to save it as a PDF on their device. Then it can be printed or shared with teachers, parents or friends. An internet connection is needed to do that.
Interactive features and tools keep students engaged and while guiding them through the process of creating letter pages, alphabet charts or an alphabet book. The most helpful include:
- Email sharing
- Image library
- Onscreen tap commands
- Sound effects
The app can help students who need extra study time to memorize or practice the learning material. The self-paced nature of the app is also good for students in independent learning sessions.
Content and most features in the “Alphabet Organizer” app are all-inclusive. An internet connection isn’t needed to open or save projects created by students or to use most of the app’s interactive features.
However, an internet connection is needed to share completed projects via email with others. There are no advertisements or in-app purchases.
The “Alphabet Organizer” app by ReadWriteThink is free. It can be downloaded from iTunes and is compatible with iPad tablets running iOS version 4.3 or later. It’s also available on Google Play and is compatible with digital tablets running the Android operating system 2.2 or later.