ABC SPANISH READING MAGIC Free for iOS-Blending, Segmenting, and Reading

September 8, 2011 in Education (E)

[] Minneapolis, Minnesota - Preschool University today is pleased to introduce ABC SPANISH READING MAGIC 1.0 for iOS, their 15th free Education app, which provides practice in reading elementary Spanish, but also offers practice in the two prerequisite skills that are often overlooked: blending and segmentation of phonemes. Designed for young children learning to read Spanish as a native or foreign language, the app has three modes: Blending, Segmentation, and Reading.

In Blending mode children touch a row of empty rectangles consecutively, hear a sound from each one, and then blend the sounds together to form a word (touching the large empty rectangle provides audio and visual confirmation). Set to Segmentation, kids touch the illustration in the large rectangle and hear a word, then separate it into sounds, touching each empty rectangle in a row as they first speak, then hear each sound. Lastly, in Reading mode learners read the letters inside the row of rectangles, read the word, and then see the illustration and hear the word aloud. The app features touch-to-hear, audible pronunciation of whole words, or the sound of individual letters plus the complete word.

Created by Montessori preschool owner and lead teacher Richard Colombini, ABC SPANISH READING MAGIC 1.0-Lectura magica is part of a series of apps that duplicates the proven, sequential instruction of the company's English language apps in a program for reading Spanish. The goal is to enhance the learning process by setting up the right conditions for learners to be successful. The app gives emerging readers a step that will encourage skill building and confidence in reading.

ABC SPANISH READING MAGIC operates in landscape orientation. From the Home Page, users can select Blending mode, Segmentation mode, or Reading mode. From the Home Page, the user can also set the level of difficulty, choosing to practice with words having a maximum of 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 letters. From the Home page the user is taken to the Menu page, where they can choose from one of nine different word categories: Animals, Household Items, Colors, Parts of the Body, Fruits, Numbers, Clothing, Actions, Vegetables, or Shuffle mode.

In 5-letter Blending mode there is a large empty square at the center of the screen. At the bottom of the screen are five or fewer empty rectangles side-by-side. The child must touch each rectangle from left to right. When each empty rectangle is touched, it lights up and a sound or phoneme is heard. It can be useful for the student to repeat the sound after hearing it. The goal is to combine or blend the sounds together to form a single word. This is the same procedure as "sounding out" a word by reading it aloud, phoneme by phoneme. Here, there are no letters to guide the student, only sounds. This helps strengthen the skill of blending sounds, rather than letters. To check their work, the reader touches the Ear icon. Each empty rectangle lights and its sound is pronounced in turn, and then the word is spoken aloud, accompanied by a photo or illustration of the word in the large, central square.

In 5-letter Segmentation mode the procedure is reversed. There are five or fewer empty rectangles in a row beneath a large square containing a picture. Based on the picture, the child may recognize the word immediately. Their goal is to break it down into its simplest component sounds. They pronounce the word aloud and then each phoneme, checking themselves as they go along by touching the empty rectangles. Here again, students can check their work by touching the Ear icon, which lights and pronounces each rectangle and then the word. The icon may also be used as a hint in cases where the student does not immediately know the word to which the illustration refers.

Feature Highlights:
* Young children develop phonological and phonemic awareness
* Blending, Segmentation, and Reading practice
* These intermediary skills are invaluable for successfully reading complete words
* Adjustable level of difficulty
* Words and letter sounds can be read aloud by the app
* Pictures and sound reinforce the connection between written words and that to which they refer
* ABC LECTURA MGICA is ideal for children learning Spanish as their first or second language
* Based on principles of the highly respected educator, Maria Montessori

In 5-letter Reading mode, the blending and segmentation practice is put to use in reading words. Words of 5 letters or fewer appear on the bottom of the screen with one letter in each rectangle. Consonants are red and vowels are blue. The large square is empty. Many students will see the word and read it immediately. For those who need help, they can touch each letter to hear its sound. To verify their answer kids touch the Ear icon, which lights each letter as it is pronounced, and then speaks the word aloud as a picture appears in the large square. Reading practice consolidates the skills learned during Blending and Segmentation, and cements the connection between the letters and sounds, the letters and the word, and the word and the illustration to which it refers.

"This is a smart and powerful tool for teaching Spanish," said Santiago Rangel, President, and Creative Director of Jimmy Jet Designs, who worked on the application's images for Preschool University. Rangel, a native Spanish speaker, further added, "The brilliant, pleasing, and pure colors along with the real photos of this app contribute to a lively learning experience. This can also be a great tool for adults who may have missed steps as well."

An ideal interactive learning app for beginning readers of Spanish, ABC SPANISH READING MAGIC has all the qualities of an engaging, entertaining reading game for preschool children. There is no scoring, competition, or running clock that would put it squarely in the category of Game rather than Education App. But in practice, there is often no distinction between playing and learning. And ABC SPANISH READING MAGIC-Lectura magica will provide hours of lively enjoyment and rigorous skill building combined in an expertly designed and executed, free iOS app.

"Young children are neurologically wired to take in language more efficiently and accurately than at any other time of life," stated developer Richard Colombini. "ABC SPANISH READING MAGIC fits into our highly effective, sequential, graduated reading program."

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
* iOS 4.0 or later (iOS 4.3 tested)
* Universal app
* 75.5 MB

Pricing and Availability:
ABC SPANISH READING MAGIC 1.0 is free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Education category.

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Preschool University's mission is to create and promote excellent reading materials and high quality learning tools for children. Established in 2010, Preschool University is an accumulation of over 20 years of experience and success in child reading development. It began as a promise by Montessori preschool owner and lead teacher, Richard Colombini, to prospective parents. The promise: "All Kindergartners Are Guaranteed To Read." The company currently offers 14 free educational apps in the App Store. Copyright (C) 2011 Preschool University 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. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.


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