A bedtime app gives new readers and their parents a big language boost.
Mommy and Daddy have tucked Caillou into bed, but there are scary noises and shadows keeping him wide awake. And so begins the first app in the iReadWith series based on the animated TV character Caillou. Although a predictable storyline—things go bump in the night—what makes this app special is its approach to language and literacy development. Young readers personalize the experience by choosing avatars that appear at the bottom of each page with prompting questions and conversation starters that not only inspire engagement in the story, but also build verbal fluency, imagination, vocabulary, comprehension and narrative skill. The avatars ask questions like, “What makes the shadows on the bed?” creating intriguing opportunities for dialogue between children and parents. Using the Read & Record option, they can record any or all of 12 “living words” in the story, which are offered in both French and English. And when readers have progressed through all three reading levels, they can create and record their own stories and dialogue, choosing scenes and characters in the Theater (found on the intro page). The 1.2.0 version features a Listen option with professional narration, giving pre-readers the opportunity to learn and explore on their own.
A cacophony of educational inspiration, this “Noise” is anything but. (Requires iOS 6 and above.) (iPad storybook app. 4-8)