The Hooked on Phonics App + Practice Packs program is made up of two sections, Pre-Reader and Learn to Read, plus a bonus section for Hooked on Spelling. We'll break down what you can expect to see in each section, below.
In the Pre-reader section of the App, your child will learn the names of all 26 letters in the alphabet and what sound each letter represents, including short and long vowel sounds. They'll also interact with audio storybooks to get more familiar with the letter sounds, in context. The e-books will also aid your child with the basic concepts of print, such as following words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page as a book is read.
The Pre-Reader section is made up of 12 Steps, and within each Step are 3-4 lessons, including videos, interactive activities, and dynamic review that responds to your child's progress.
The Practice Packs that align with Pre-Reader Steps 1-12 include important practice in recognizing and producing rhyming words, recognizing lowercase (and then uppercase) letters, identifying all 26 letters and producing their sounds, and isolating the beginning sounds of words. Your child will also get hands-on practice coloring, tracing, and writing each letter. In addition, there are out-of-the-book activity ideas, suggestions for using the letter cards included with the first pack, and review sections that help you ensure your child has mastered the learning. Each pack presents a handful of letters at a time so as not to overwhelm learners.
LEARN TO READ
In the Learn to Read section, children start to put letters together to make word families that allow students to recognize simple spelling patterns; for example: at in bat and mat. Once a child recognizes the at word family, they'll move on to the other short a word families, such as ag, ad, and ap. From there each step and lesson will introduce new short vowel word families, until your child is able to read words such as kit, pop, mud, and net.
From word families, we introduce beginning blends and digraphs like st and th, then endings blends and digraphs, inflective ending such as ing or ly, as well as two-syllable words. From there we move into the long-vowel patterns like 'long i/final e’ (bike), 'ee' (keep) , and 'oa' (boat). Children become familiar with these letter patterns and the sounds they represent, enabling them to decode more and more words they encounter in reading.
Within each Step, we're also introducing Sight Words, which don't follow traditional phonics rules, so these appear throughout the App and Practice Packs to reinforce a child's recognition of these special helper words. We start with words like "and", "he", and "the" and progress to words like "were", "would" and "friend". Within the Practice Packs, Sight Words are highlighted in co-reading poems, so that your child can practice reading the words in context with you. Here’s an example:
I heard it from a little bird:
A is a letter and a word.
The letter starts the alphabet.
It is a word you can’t forget.
The word a is seen frequently.
It comes before a noun, you see.
A noun is a person, place, or thing:
A girl, a park, a piece of string.
Ride a bike. Swim in a lake.
This sight word is a piece of cake!
In the corresponding Learn to Read Practice Packs, we reinforce the skills listed above, as well as including more in-depth practice with handwriting, reading comprehension and general writing skills. This additional hands-on practice is essential to solidify the learning children are gaining by using the Hooked on Phonics App and to make the connection to writing on paper.
NOTE: If your child has mastered the short vowel sound word families, and can read words like "cat", "dog", "fan", "mop", "bed", etc., you may consider starting at Step 13 where blends will be introduced. If this seems like a good plan for your family, simply swipe to Learn to Read Step 13 at the top of the main screen. To change the level of your next Practice Pack, tap here for simple instructions.
HOOKED ON SPELLING
The Hooked on Spelling App helps children learn different sounds within words and ways those sounds can be represented with letters by focusing on common spelling patterns. Each lesson begins with explicit instruction of a skill—such as identifying a beginning consonant sound—and continues with simple activities that allow the learner to apply that skill. Each lesson ends with a simple spelling test for even more practice.
There is one set of Practice Packs that is offered for Hooked on Spelling which includes two workbooks, one activity book, and spelling cards. These provide a pen-and-paper activity for each lesson, hands-on ideas for using the spelling cards, and additional off-the-page activity ideas for more spelling practice.