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Phonics Chest

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An app to help beginner readers in learning to read through a number of different games.

Teacher Review

This app has a great feel to it through not only what it is trying to achieve but the way that it goes about it. The premise of the app is to help young children in learning to read through using repetition and a number of different games to learn and understand the same sets of words.
The appearance of the app is good and doesn’t detract from the learning outcomes of the app. It is clean and simple looking but this is a positive as it adds to the usability of the app meaning that what is on the screen is what is needed so moving between the games and elements of the app is also simple. This is good given the age range that the app is trying to target. There is however no link to an external website for the developer or a user manual. The user manual aspect is fine as there is enough support through the app how to use it but having a link to a website would certainly be beneficial for someone who wants to learn more about the developer, their other products, or to contact them.
Once the app is opened you are welcomed to a home screen which has a number of different options. There are 8 different games which can be selected on the page and a further link which opens up the whole list of words that are available in the app. As mentioned the premise of the app is to help beginner readers become familiar with, and learn initial sets of words. The app has in total 10 sets, each with 10 words, so the first 100 words in total. The words become more difficult as the user works their way through the list.
Each of the 8 games that the user can play repeats the same sets of words so the user has the ability to learn those words in a number of different ways. This is one of the major advantages of this app over similar apps of its type. It allows the user the option to either access the words in a way that suits them best, or to try different ways to hopefully fully embed the learning of the words for the young person.
It is a good range of games too that can be chosen. These move from where the user is using the method of look, cover, write (or in this case type) check something they will be extremely familiar with, to also simple word searches, unscrambling of words and then more in depth games such as using the words and writing a sentence for them to go in. In actual fact this game is probably my favourite of all them. The user is asked to take a photo and then create a sentence using one, or more of the words at the side. This added, interactive element not only makes the game more fun, thus engaging the user, but also adds uses other elements, such as taking a picture, to make the word easier to remember as it is part of a ‘real life’ setting. 
At the end of a number of the games for each of the word lists there is a data collection which can also be turned into a pdf so it can emailed or printed for reference. This is an excellent addition to an already good app as it allows a parent, or teacher the ability to track the progress of a young person and know where they may need extra help or support or in fact what they are capable of doing. The app is only £0.79p and is definitely well worth the money as just an app with the different games, however, with this option it really enhances the capabilities of the app and how it could be used in an educational and home setting.
All in all there are a lot of positives about this app especially the content and the way the user interacts and can learn from the games within in. It is definitely value for money however I would like there to a little more when it comes to accessing information about the developer or being able to contact them.


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From the Developer

Phonics Chest is full of teaching resources and games for parents, educators and children to use. It focuses on some of the most commonly occurring words, found in the early years to KS1 curriculum. This app covers a wide range of skills including: reading, spelling, writing, applying and assessing. Assess is for parents/educators to use. It's aim is to assess the reading of common words.

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