Mr Thorne Does Phonics is one of a series of apps by Mr Thorne a primary school teacher who has produced numerous YouTube videos on the teaching of phonics, spellings and also various maths topics.
We downloaded Mr Thorne Does Phonics to the iPad to see what it was like. The app contains all the Youtube videos relating to phonics sounds in one easy place, so you can just tap the sound you want to practice and the video plays.
When I first showed 3 yr old Mister B the app, he was a little disappointed as he was expecting an app that he could be more interactive with by pressing the screen rather than just watching it. It took some encouragement from big sister Miss M who sat watching them herself and repeated the sounds and words that Mr Thorne says. Mister B being one who always copies his sister started saying the sounds too and got really into it, soon watching Mr Thorne himself and repeated the sounds that he heard.
This is really good to get little ones practising phonics sounds and basic words. All sounds and words are displayed clearly on the screen alongside a real life Mr Thorne who is pronouncing them. Mister B is really starting to grasp his letter phonics and this is great for him to sit down with to listen and repeat. When he’s in the right frame of mind he quite happily sits there copying the sounds – it’s so lovely to hear and you can really hear the enthusiasm in his voice.
For 6yr old Miss M who is becoming an increasingly confident reader, the one thing she struggles with is spellings. Sometimes I’m amazed at how well she reads but then writes a story with quite poor spelling, she literally writes how she sounds it out.
Mr Thorne’s Spellbook is a series of spelling tests, each of which consist of 10 spellings. Miss M has sat quite happily trying these out and worked out that if she gets all ten right then she gets some items to display in the museum. This helped motivate her into trying hard as she could see lots of empty museum shelves that needed filling and wanted to try and gain the rewards.
I love this app for Miss M as it really does challenge her, we have a lot of apps on the iPad that are below her age, and although she loves to play, they don’t challenge her in anyway. This is brilliant for spelling practice and is one area I really feel she lacks in. The first level on this is perfect for her ability, she can easily get 7 or 8 correct but needs to repeat the other few. There are two further levels concentrating on harder words that she has yet to reach.
Mr Thorne’s apps are simple, to the point and do the job they should – they teach children. There are no gimmicks, the children learn straight away but in a fun way. Obviously you need to have the child in the right mood to respond and react to the app but I can definitely say that these apps have been of benefit to my two, they’ve enjoyed them and continue to use them to this day.
All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the app in order to write the review.