Friday, March 18, 2011

Montessori Crosswords


Montessori Crosswords
Created by L’Escapadou

About the App

Based on the proven Montessori learning method, this app is in fact a fun game to develop spelling, reading and writing skills using a Movable Alphabet and letter sounds.  You will find more than 300 word-image-audio combinations to help practice the sounds (phonics) of the letters.    Three word series of increasing difficulty is included in this app.   Each level of difficulty has been created as defined in the Montessori method according to the phonetic difficulty of each word.  Level 1 (corresponding to the simplest word series) displays only one simple word to make the game easier for beginner writers/readers while  level 2 and 3 will bring you child to crosswords which are created randomly to offer tens of thousands of different combinations (exactly 93 696 for level 3!).

Activities you will share with your kids - or they perform on their own - depend on their current knowledge of letters and their phonetic sounds, so there is no strict age range for this game. You can start playing with letters with your 3 year-old and have a lot of fun - that’s also what our movable alphabet is made for! -, while your 10 year-old will enjoy solving the most difficult crosswords on her own, thus building up her spelling skills. All our crosswords are self-corrective, so that kids can play and enjoy the game whether they are beginners or fluent readers.

My Thoughts

I think this app is well done and deserve a greater attention from homeschooling families.   Not only it will help you child to discover the sound of each letters but it will introduce spelling while making crosswords.image

My son, Dominic – age 7, has tested this app with me sitting next to him.   Dominic is a bright child but he struggles a little with his reading.   So I was curious to see how well he would do.   He started with the first level in the app which introduce simple word with 3 sounds.    He quickly found this too easy for him and decided voluntarily to go to a harder level.  So he went to the 2nd level which introduce 2 words with consonant blend.    He had some difficulties with some of the words but he excelled nevertheless.   I found that it was nice to have the sound of the letter being pronounced when he selected the letter before dragging it into the crossword.    Each time the child gets the crossword, an animation happens and you can interact with it.   The child can also have the word be repeated simply by clicking on the image.   Finally, the word’s spelling is hiding on the side so that if the child has trouble with it, he/she could discover how to spell it properly.

Dominic said that he liked this app which sort of surprised me because he had problems with his reading ability.  But recently, I realize that he is getting more comfortable in reading and I see some improvements.   I think he loves the fact that he can interact with the animation when he completes a crossword.   For him it is some sort of reward.

Personally, I think that the rewards are always the same (even though the colours change) and I would like to see different types of rewards.  

Nevertheless, this app is fabulous and I highly recommend it to help you child to discover the spelling world (as well as the fun of doing crosswords…)!

The Montessori Crosswords app is available on iTunes for the price of 1.99$ either for the iPhone or the iPad.   A French version is also available which I will review in the days to come.

Disclaimer: I received the app for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way.  All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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