Froggy Phonics

froggy phoniceAge Scale: 4-8
Device: iPhone, iPod, and iPad
Quick Line:  Solid and Systematic
What Educators Need to Know:
I taught first grade for three years and second grade for two before being moved to sixth.  There are times when I miss the little ones, and playing Froggy Phonics with my son was a reminder of the systematic approach to teaching reading.  You teach consonants before vowels.  You teach beginning sounds before ending sounds.  You introduce blends (bl, fl, br, etc.) before digraphs (ch, sh, th, etc.).
Froggy Phonics follows this system, and I could easily see it in being used in a first grade classroom.  A sound or blend appears in the bottom right, and players must touch the lily pads to advance Froggy to a word with the target sound.  Several consecutive correct choices earns stars.  Stars unlock new levels.
This app is based on an award-winning board game with the same name created by Edupress.  Now, I looked into this game to see how it is played and which accolades it has earned.  I was pleasantly surprised to see iParenting, Dr. Toy, and Teachers’ Choice.  Pretty impressive!  But there is a distinct difference.  When playing the board game, children must quickly find and say a word with the target sound.  When using the app, the word is read to the child.  I found this to be much less effective.  Yes, a child could play independently.  Yes, repetition may help to cement the word into a child’s vocabulary, but I really wish they were reading the words on their own.  E was able to match the target pattern and the words without actually reading them!  Bummer.
Therefore, I would strongly recommend playing this game with your child as I did.  E really enjoyed it.  Did he actually learn about blends and digraphs?  Not really.  Maybe if he had already been exposed to these patterns at school, the practice might have been more helpful.
In the meantime, I’m putting the board game on my wish list!
Price:  $4.99 (look for it on sale – a bit high)