A game-based learning app that helps children become stronger, confident readers

App of the Week

Foolproof Reading is an adventurous reading game that combines gameplay, storytelling, and curriculum. Children complete the reading skills curriculum to help the animals move up the Readerboard. As they develop phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension skills, they earn rewards to create and customize their dream Treehouse Library! The Foolproof methodology was developed with childhood literacy experts to get kids excited about reading, raise their reading age, and give them confidence to tackle anything that the future can throw at them.

 

Formats used:

iOS and Android

 

Primary URL:

https://www.mrswordsmith.com/

 

Problem solved:

It helps children become stronger readers by developing skills in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. 

 

Grade/age range:  

Grades K-2

 

Core or supplemental:

Core and Supplemental

 

Standards:

Common Core standards

 

Lesson time required:

The app is best used 2-3x a week for 15-20 minutes. This will ensure the student covers 5 reading skills exercises a day. These exercises vary by level and focus on teaching phonics, phonemic awareness, high-frequency words, vocabulary, fluency, and reading comprehension. For example, beginning readers will develop skills around recognizing letters and sounds. More advanced readers will practice comprehension and fluency skills.

 

Pricing model:

$8.99/month; $67.99 annual

 

What makes Foolproof Reading unique?

Its created by award-winning Hollywood artists & gaming talent, developed with global literacy experts, and backed by science.

 

Characteristics:

The instructional design of the app is based on a framework of “learn, earn, and create.” To “learn,” children progress through reading skills along a map that winds around the reading tree. They complete learning exercises through 5 core-research-based mini-games. These games include feeding a character by matching letters to sounds, playing high-frequency words blitz, blending and segmenting through systematic phonics instructions, playing decoding card games, and reading words, short phrases, and stories in the chat reader interface. The games, described in the attached Parent & Educator Guide, cover systematic phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. They are personalized based on a child’s age and reading skill. There is the opportunity to select American or British accents and spellings.

The objective of the game is to teach the animals how to read. As students complete reading skills, they are teaching the animals. They learn and earn together. To “earn,” children are awarded decorations along the way to decorate their treehouse. They are also awarded Blabberbucks to pay for these decorations with free in-app currency and fruits to make milkshakes for the characters to give them energy. 

To “create,” children design their own dream treehouse. They can customize their treehouse with hundreds of decorations, including furniture, ceilings, floors, skies, and animated effects.

This app uses research-based pedagogy on the science of reading and gamification and character-based learning.  

 

Here’s what users are saying:

“Kids will love the animated characters and bright scenery, and parents and teachers will love the way the game motivates kids to master new sounds, letters, and vocabulary!”

-- Maureen Russo, teacher, St. Paul’s Weekday Nursing School, Bedford, MA

“The best app on the market for teaching phonics and building literacy skills. It follows a comprehensive systematic synthetic phonics program like we do in U.K. schools. And the children love the amazing characters and building their treehouse in the app. It’s not babyish so I am also able to use it with some of my slightly older students who need speech and language therapy.”

-- Kay Y., literacy teacher, a state school in London

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