Reading for Inferences
Learning to read involves more than just being able to sound out and recognize words. Understanding the meaning of the text is crucial for children to learn and succeed. While reading comprehension skills are taught in schools, often parents and teachers feel the need to offer children opportunities to practice these skills independently. MiniMod Reading for Inferences is one in a series of educational apps by E. Skills Learning that provides students with this opportunity.
Reading for Inferences offers three reading level choices: Red (reading level 2.0 to 3.5), Blue (reading level 3.5 to 5.0) and Green (reading level 5.0 to 6.5).
Spache and Dale-Challe Readability Formulas are used to ensure that the reading material is appropriate for each of the three reading levels. The app includes a single player, multiplayer and practice mode choices. Once the reading level and playing mode is selected, the child is given a series of passages about the Maya, Inca and Aztec cultures. Each passage is followed by a question designed to require the child to use inferential thinking skills. Rather than simply finding an answer directly from the text, the child is expected to reach conclusions based on an interpretation and understanding of the meaning of the text. In game mode, the questions are used to play a game of bingo. If a question is answered incorrectly, an opportunity is given to re-read the passage and try again.
Reading for Inferences stays true to its intended purpose. It does not include background music, sound effects, or any other elements that might be distracting to a child while reading. While it is not meant to entertain, the bingo style game format, colorful photographs, interesting subject matter, and the fact that it is an app rather than a worksheet, all make Reading for Inferences engaging and interesting for young learners. The app is well designed with clear instructions and an intuitive user interface. The black text on a white background is clear and easy to read. It is also evident that the developer was mindful of effective reading strategies when designing the app. For example, each passage includes a bold, enlarged title and clear, colorful photograph relating to the text, so that the child is able to draw some conclusions prior to reading as to what the passage might be about. Reading for inferences is an excellent choice for parents and teachers looking to offer additional practice in reading comprehension.
As a parent, I am very pleased with the quality of the app and am hopeful that it will be equally well received with its intended audience. To find out, I asked my ten year old daughter to test out the app and let me know her thoughts. The result? She likes it. Specifically, she likes the fact that unlike reading comprehension exercises she often encounters in school, it includes a bingo game along with the questions. I also think that the addition of the bingo game may have enticed her to play longer than she may have otherwise in order to finish the game. Without the bingo, I suspect she might have grown tired of the app sooner and not completed as many of the passages. When I asked her what else she liked about the app she mentioned a particular passage that she thought was interesting. Lately she has become interested in anthropology, and the subject matter used in the app was interesting enough to hold her attention. It is also a good sign that I was able to hand her the iPhone without any prior instruction and she had no trouble at all using the app independently. With so many games and entertaining apps available on the iPhone, a reading comprehension app may not always be my daughter’s first choice when selecting an app; however, I do believe with a little encouragement, Reading for Inferences will provide her with a pleasant and thought provoking opportunity to practice a much needed skill.
A promo code was received for review purposes.