June 23, 2011 in Education (E)
[prMac.com] Sophia Antipolis, France - Children's app developer L'Escapadou today is pleased to announce the availability of Montessori Crosswords 3.0, an update to the award-winning educational app for iPad and iPhone. Based on the internationally recognized Montessori learning method, the app helps kids develop their writing, reading and spelling skills by building words from a set of pictures using a phonics-enabled Movable Alphabet. The app includes 300 word-image-audio combinations and this free update brings innovative ways to deal with phonics.
This new version has already been acclaimed by users. Sue Holt, an experienced, National Board Certified Teacher wrote this review, entitled "Best Literacy App in my opinion", on the App Store: "I have high standards for what I think is a good app, especially when it comes to paid ones. This app is a must have for families and teachers of 3-8 year olds. (...) There are few apps I would pay for to put on all of my classroom iPads, but this is certainly one of them."
This free update brings advanced phonics support. The app now supports 41 different phonics so that:
* Kids can touch the white squares where they must place letters, and hear the phonics for the word. All phonics are supported: long and short vowels, consonants digraph like "th", and even silent letters.
* Phonics played when touching a letter are chosen according to the displayed word, no matter how many different phonics the same letter can produce in other words
* You can choose to focus on a set of words that contains a specific phonic - e.g. short a, long a, sh sound, silent e,... There are 44 categories to choose from
* For levels 2 and 3, you can also now play with single words.
* Cursive letters have been added as an alternate choice.
"We listened to teachers, SLPs and parents' suggestions to bring these innovative features" said Pierre Abel, founder of L'Escapadou, "and we'd like to thank them for their feedback. We want to continue improving the app, add new words and offer free updates."
Montessori Crosswords has been mentioned in the New York Times and Wired's GeekDad, and has been awarded "Editor's Choice Award for Excellence in Design" by Children's Technology Review. It has also been selected by Apple in "Words for the Wise" and "Apps for Learning to Read" lists, and is, at the time of writing, on the iPad Education Top 10 Best Sellers list.
* 300 different word-image-audio combinations
* When a letter of the alphabet is touched, the phonic played matches the sound this letter produces in the displayed word using one of the 41 phonics available
* Three levels of phonetic difficulty, appropriate for ages 3 to 8 - as defined by Montessori educators
* Level 1 displays simple words for beginning readers
* Levels 2 and 3 optionally create multi-word crosswords in tens of thousands of different combinations, encouraging unlimited repeat play
* 21 Fun and colorful interactive visual effects are displayed when a crossword is completed. Visual effects animate and change as they follow your child's touch
* Also included is a Movable Alphabet that allows open-ended activities for young children learning their letters. Letters can be rotated and re-sized to add to the fun
* Choose capital, lower-case or cursive letter display
* Displays the total number of completed words
* Packed with animations and sounds to create a fun and enjoyable experience
* Compatible with iPad, iPhone and iPod touch
* Requires iOS 4.0 or later
* 15.9 MB
Pricing and Availability:
Montessori Crosswords 3.0 is $1.99 USD until Saturday June 25th to celebrate the update. Regular price is $2.99 USD. It is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Education category for iPad and iPhone.
L'Escapadou is a family design studio dedicated to creating fun, creative and educational apps for iPad and iPhone, and was recognized as "Editor's Choice" by Moms With Apps. Pierre Abel holds a PhD in computer science and has extensively worked on user experience design. His wife is a translator currently busy home-educating their daughters and helps in the design of educational apps. Watching their kids - 5 and 8 years-old - learn and play is their main source of inspiration for the apps they make. The studio was created after the launch of the iPad with the belief that the iPad can be a great tool for learning and creativity. Copyright (C) 2011 L'Escapadou. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.