In kindergarten, many children are learning to read. Children will typically need to master a list of sight words by the end of the year, and they also will sound out blends and read short stories or books. Some school districts might use reading programs that help children advance at their own speed.
Kindergarteners’ reading abilities could vary considerably. Some might read grade levels ahead of peers. Others might have been late readers but could be catching up during kindergarten. For children that need extra practice at, reading apps for kindergarten can focus on fun and games…but parents also could select more formal reading tutor apps, too.
The list of apps to help kindergarteners with reading is vast, and many are free to download (parents do need to be aware of in-app purchases, though). Here’s how to find fun apps that keep kids engaged and entertained while they practice and sharpen their reading skills.
What Game-Based Learning Apps are Best?
Not every child is going to love every app. For this reason, there isn’t one list of game-based apps that are the best for any child. Instead parents can search for games that focus on the reading skills their child needs to strengthen.
In kindergarten, parents might be focused on helping their child practice phonics skills or learn their sight words. Many kindergarteners will learn a similar list of sight words. To ensure that parents find a reading game that matches their child’s list of sight words, parents might want to reference their school’s sight word list.
Parents can find game-based apps that are focused on kindergarten. And there is a long list of game-based sight word apps via both Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Again, many apps are free but many also will offer in-app purchases. To ensure that children don’t rack up charges within the game, parents can disable in-app purchases on their phone or device.
When apps are free, parents can download multiple reading games for children. Since not every game will be a hit, this gives parents the option to let children try out a variety of apps. Some might not be as immersive as others, or children just might like a certain game format better. Keep the games that are the most enjoyable…and delete the others to save space.
Beyond sight words, parents also can find games and apps to help children practice phonics skills at home. These games might encourage children to trace letters or match sounds to letters. Some apps include games that help with both sight word identification and phonics.
Apps from School
Parents also might want to drop an email to their child’s teacher for recommendations about apps to use to help strengthen their child’s reading skills. School districts might use specific reading programs in kindergarten during class time to help children practice reading. Parents might be able to access these programs at home.
Teachers also can help parents pinpoint areas that need enrichment. However, parents also could use multiple apps that allow children to practice all aspects of reading. So what are the most common kindergarten reading benchmarks?
Benchmarks vary, but, commonly, kindergarteners will need to identify the alphabet (upper and lowercase), sounds and sound blends, sight words, beginning and ending sounds, etc. There also might be a reading level goal for the end of the year; for example, at the end of kindergarten students might be expected to read at a D level. Students also might have to display basic comprehension knowledge of stories. Parents can visit the site Core Standards, which has a list of kindergarten reading benchmarks for the Common Core curriculum (many school districts follow Common Core).
After the first quarter, parents also could look at their child’s quarterly report card for benchmarks. They can also use their child’s grades to find areas that need strengthening. However, grades might be issued differently than parents remember back in their school years. Some districts might assess grades according to competency-based learning, while others grade in percentiles that correlate to standard letter grades. When competency-based grading is used, parents will see grades shown as a number that correlates to the child’s level of mastery. For example, four is typically the highest competency-based grade, and it denotes ‘above grade level.’
However, every district has its own list of benchmarks and grading criteria. Parents who are unsure about what their child needs to master by the end of the second semester should reach out for clarification regarding these benchmark standards.
Reading Apps that Can Provide Individualized Help for Struggling Readers
Some kindergartners might struggle with multiple aspects of reading. They might be falling behind peers, or maybe parents are concerned that they might not hit those key reading benchmarks by the end of the year.
Instead of using game-based apps, parents can utilize more focused lesson-based reading apps that provide individualized help for each child’s unique needs. Readability guides children through all the fundamental aspects of literacy. Readability provides children with assistance with phonics and comprehension.
Readability is programmed with an AI tutor with voice recognition technology. The tutor understands each child’s unique voice; when a child reads aloud during lessons, the tutor will assist with any mispronunciations and help the child if they stumble. This feedback can help children better understand their mistakes and errors.
Basic comprehension also might be a key reading benchmark for kindergarteners. All readers that use Readability will be tested on their understanding of each story read in the program. The AI tutor will ask questions about the story to find out if the child understood what they read during the lesson.
What reading level does a child begin when they start using Readability? If a parent knows their child’s reading level, this can be set within the program. However, Readability also can help determine a child’s reading level if a parent is unsure. Beginning at the ideal reading level for each child ensures that stories aren’t too complicated…or too simple.
Finishing several books or stories within the program doesn’t mean that the child will move to another level. Displaying mastery moves a child ahead to the next reading level; children must demonstrate proficiency in both fluency and comprehension to begin a more difficult level. The goal of a reading program is to ensure that a child is becoming a more proficient reader; some children, however, might need more time on one level before they can advance. Remember, reading levels can be different for each child…reading also isn’t a competition.
While using games can’t always help parents understand their child’s progress or their reading level, using a reading app that is designed to help children gain proficiency should allow parents to follow their child’s success. Readability provides parents with a Parent Dashboard that displays all their child’s reading data, including current reading level and the time used on the program. The Parent Dashboard also allows parents to compile all this data into a report that can be emailed to the child’s teacher. This can help teachers and parents communicate about reading progress within the classroom.
While many game-based apps are free, programs like Readability require a subscription. However, parents can try out Readability with their child for free for seven days. This free trial can help parents determine if the app is right for their child’s reading needs.
Interested in beginning a free trial? Sign up today!