Creator: Originator Inc.
Platforms: iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. You must be online and have sufficient disk space while running the app to get all words in the app. Not available on Androids.
Intended Age: Rated 4+ by Originator Inc. Educators typically emphasize sight words Kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Utility: Endless Reader is geared towards young readers, age 4 and up, that are just beginning to build up their vocabulary. Endless Reader introduces “sight words” – frequently used words at home and in school that educators encourage students to memorize, rather than decode, to speed up the reading process. This allows students to focus on the content and storyline rather than attempting to continuously define commonly used words.
Goals of the App: “Recognizing sight words…that may have unusual spelling, can’t be sounded out using phonetics, and/or can’t be represented by pictures.”
Endless Reader, released November 21, 2013, is a fun and age appropriate app for any child, K-3 looking to increase their ability to increase their vocabulary, recognize sight words, and create sentences. I was first struck by the fun and playful nature of the app – signaled by the host of cute and crazy creatures that crowded across the welcome screen. The main page opens to a brown monster with three eyes, his mouth wide open to reveal, in alphabetical order, the words that children can assemble, de-assemble, and use in sentences.
If children want to skip ahead in the alphabet, they can scroll through the word offerings in the monsters mouth, or click on a letter of the alphabet displayed on the monsters lips. Once a child selects a word, like cake, the word appears on the main screen, until a host of creatures runs across the screen and sends the letters flying. Each is brightly colored and routinely shakes or vibrates. The background music is upbeat and fun, lending to the creative atmosphere of the application. Once the letters are scattered across the screen the user must drag the letters into their correct positions to spell the word again. Here is where the innovation of the app really shines through – as each letter is selected and dragged around the screen the letter grows eyes and becomes a mini letter monster constantly shouting out the letters sound in relation to the word. As Kim Lovering writes in her review, “As they drag the word it sings a song using the word. For example, the word can sings the can-can, only using the word can. It’s great. Makes me laugh every time.” Once the word is completed the screen erupts with cheering and clapping monsters.
The word is then placed in context with a funs sentence such as “A good cake is the yummiest part of a birthday party! Three words are typically scattered around the screen, in this case ‘cake’, ‘good’, and ‘the’, and the user must drag the words to complete the sentence.
Again, once the word is selected a cute voice sounds out the word, and in the case of ‘cake’ the word sprouts adorable candles. In reward for completing the sentence, the screen erupts in cheers once more and a small animation scene, like a monster belly flopping into a cake is played before the sentence is read aloud by the narrator. Users then move on to the next word and why wouldn’t they want to? Endless Reader is an addictively fun educational game that combines good graphic design – the cute creatures and fun colors – along with great sound effects. Moreover, young users not only get to assemble words and sentences but also get to hear words and letters sounded out in various contexts. There is also some repetition amongst the sentence constructions, which can help young users familiarize themselves with content. Overall, a great addition to any teacher’s trove of tools to get children excited and interested in reading!
Endless Reader Reviews
Phil Dzikiy, iLounge:
Kim Lovering, Parenting Chaos:
Heather H, Smart Apps for Kids:
Tonya Medeiros, appPicker: