Phonemic awareness is the number one skill a child must learn before learning to read. The I Spy game is one which Maria Montessori used to help children become aware of the sounds of language. The purpose of this app is to make children aware of the separate sounds (phonemes) that make up words. It develops pre-reading and vocabulary skills.
Montessori stressed the importance of using real photos or objects when teaching children, so the app uses photographs, and not cartoons or drawings.
There are four stages to the app.
1) Starting Sounds - for example: "I spy something that starts with the sound "a". The child chooses between a photo of an apple or a car.
2) Ending Sounds - for example: "I spy something that ends with the sound "K". The child chooses between a photo of a dog or a truck.
3) Middle Sounds - for example: "I spy something that has the sound "a" in the middle. The child chooses between a photo of a pen or a cap.
4) Blending - for example: "I spy a "p", "e", "n"." The child chooses the correct image from two choices.
After 5 correct answers, they get to choose a virtual sticker to place on a reward page within the app.