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Apps for Reading Standards: Phonological Awareness (K–1)

For both grades, the core requirement is to demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).

Kindergarten
Recognize and produce rhyming words.
Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words.
Blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words.
Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonent-vowel-consonent, or CVC) words. (This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/.)
Add or substitute individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one-syllable words to make new words.

Super Why (opens in new tab) ($3.99) A personal favorite; includes four skills in one app: rhyming, identification of letters, spelling words. Isolate and pronounce initial sounds.

Word Magic (opens in new tab) ($.99) is a phonetics app in which the child fills in the missing letter in simple one-syllable words.

Word Wizard (opens in new tab) ($2.99) offers a multitude of options to meet core standards- text to speech, alphabetic or qwerty keyboard. Can use upper and lower case letters, phonetically pronounces each letter as it is touched, 189 built-in spelling tests and the ability to create more. This app meets the core standards for both K-1. Vowels and consonents are color coded, spell checker.

abc pocketphonics (opens in new tab) ($2.99) teaches the basics of reading and writing.

First Grade
Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).
Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words.
Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including consonant blends.
Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words.
Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds (phonemes).

abc spelling magic short vowel (opens in new tab) (Free) Teaches the sounds of the letters and how to build words.

abc-phonics word family (opens in new tab) ($1.99) Multisensory app: see the spelling, hear the audio, learn the word. Practice spelling the words by tracing the letters. 73 word families and over 630 vocabulary words.

Howie Finding Vowel lite (opens in new tab) (Free; full version $2.99) This is a vowel game to improve reading and writing skills. In the full version, children can learn more words (up to 1,110) and the setup option allows for a parent or teacher to control the level of word difficulty to match their child. CVC words are included in easy level, digraphs are in medium level and blends are in the difficult level.

Vicki Windman is a special education teacher at Clarkstown High School South.