ABC MAGIC 5 v1.0 Free for iOS - Sound Matching Pictures to Letters

January 25, 2012 in Education (E)

[] Minneapolis, Minnesota - Preschool University today introduces ABC MAGIC 5 free for iOS, their 18th Education app that provides practice in matching the first sound of words with letters. When the child touches a picture, they hear the corresponding word aloud. There are two modes of play, where kids must correctly drag either the letter to the picture, or the picture to the letter, matching the first sound of the word to the picture or letter displayed. For example, if there are four pictures displayed in boxes (dog, cat, door, window), the child must correctly drag the displayed letter "D" on to the two correct pictures. Alternatively, if four letters are displayed in boxes (D, E, F, G), they must drag the picture of the dog on to the correct letter. In addition to the two modes of play, each mode offers three difficulty levels with four, six, or nine boxes. Mastery of the alphabet is a prerequisite for success in reading and writing, and ABC MAGIC 5 provides valuable practice toward that mastery.

ABC MAGIC 5 - Letter Sound Matching is an ideal app for preschoolers. It provides entertaining practice in matching the first letter of a spoken word with the correct written letter. The result of such practice is that children come to realize, intuitively, that the spoken word "Dog" is a "D" word, "Ball" is a "B" word, etc. In playing with the app, kids are unaware that they are traversing several cognitive steps, as they match spoken or illustrated words with written letters.

In matching letters to pictures, of several cognitive steps, the first may be may be touching each of the four, six, or nine pictures and hearing aloud the sound or signifier of each photographed object. This reinforces the idea of equivalency between the picture, its signifier as spoken, and its signifier as written. The child develops a firm understanding of language as a tool to represent things that are concrete or abstract, a tool that works the same way whether it is spoken/heard or written/read. The second step may be touching the letter, to hear its sound. This reinforces the idea that each of the alphabet's 26 letters has a name, and each has a sound or phoneme it produces. The third cognitive step may be dragging the letter to the correct pictures (always half the total number of boxes). In the process of dragging it must be touched, and so the child hears the letter's sound again as it is moved. Placed correctly, it stays in the square, and placed incorrectly, it returns to the side of the screen. There are no points, timers, or rewards upon completion. Completely non-competitive, the child is gently prompted to proceed to the next puzzle.

As with all the educational apps from Preschool University, ABC MAGIC 5 is well conceived pedagogically, and equally well realized as an interactive, touch sensitive app. The photographs are all colorful and easy to identify, and even some unusual objects are included like "kiwi" or "dandelion." Unlike most other educational apps of this kind, the designers have used young children's voices to identify each object, and there are six different voices heard, three male and three female. This, in addition to many other small details, helps contribute to the usability and effectiveness of the app when put into the hands of preschoolers.

Feature Highlights:
* Touch a letter to hear its sound aloud
* Touch a picture to hear it identified aloud
* Drag one letter to correctly match several pictures
* Drag one picture to correctly match one of several letters
* Play at one of three levels of difficulty: four, six, or nine boxes
* Practice finding the most important part of every word, its first sound
* Strengthen the association of each letter with its most commonly occurring sound

"ABC MAGIC 5 is part of a series of apps devoted to mastering the alphabet," commented developer Richard Colombini. "These apps provide a progressive course that includes picture matching, line matching, sound matching, letter picking, and memory matching. Our more advanced, Montessori-based apps are devoted to reading, spelling, sentences, pronunciation, and numbers."

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
* Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later (iOS 5 tested)
* Universal app optimized for display on all iOS devices
* 13.6 MB

Pricing and Availability:
ABC MAGIC 5 v1.0 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 18 free educational apps in the App Store. Copyright (C) 2012 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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