Monday, February 10, 2014

Featured App: The Reading Train - free books at 3 levels to listen to, read, and record

Do you want a book app that allows you to listen to the story, read the story and record a voice reading the story? 

The Reading Train is a wonderful book app that is so much more than just a book. With three different levels, ten free books, additional free song books and a 400+ word audio dictionary, this app goes above and beyond! There is so much for free, but it is so wonderful that the subscription is well worth it. - Heather S.

If you would like to download The Reading Train (Free with in-app purchases, iPad Only), please support Smart Apps for Special Needs by using our link:

*** Only the app's developer can control when and app is free or not. All apps we post as free are verified to be free at the time of this post. We make no guarantees otherwise. ***
External links behind a parental lock to social media, iTunes, and developer's website. In-app purchases for subscription to have access to more books.

The Reading Train by The Learning Station is an adorable app that is set at a train station. There are three different trains to choose from, where each represent a different reading level. The lowest level, Level A, provides books with short sentences that are repetitive from page to page.  Level B continues with the repetitive nature, but it adds in quotes and increases to two sentences per page. The highest level is Level C, which increases the number of sentences and the vocabulary level. These levels work through a beginning reading level to the end of Kindergarten reading level.

This app provides a mixture of fiction and nonfiction books for children to read. Each book has three options: listen, read and record. First, a child listens to the story as it is read to them. At the end of the story, it will ask if they are ready to read it on their own. When reading alone, a child can touch and hold any word to have it read aloud. A box will also pop up to explain the word. I really liked that you had to touch and hold the word, so a child can still track with their finger while reading without activating each word. After a child reads the story, a vocabulary game is played. Many of the words are accompanied by pictures. Children are asked to find certain words, build sentences, categorize words, spell words and more. A child is rewarded with a crate and a coin for the music shop. A story can be read more than one time to collect new word crates and coins. When a child feels comfortable with the book, he can record himself reading the story aloud.

The coins can be used to listen to music books. The song is played with the lyrics and pictures accompanying on the page. These songs can also be recorded by a child.

There is even a vocabulary dictionary for a child to explore. A user can click on a word and picture to see and hear a definition for it. The dictionary can be categorized alphabetically or by similar categories, such as animals, body parts and clothes.

The Reading Train provides a lot of free content, but it also has a lot more for a paid subscription. The developers also continue to add new books. To purchase a subscription, choose either a monthly recurring subscription for $1.99, a six month recurring subscription for $7.99 or a 12 month recurring subscription for $14.99.

This app is a great app for reading fluency practice! Children can hear the story read, practice on their own, and then record and listen to themselves. I highly recommend checking out this app for children reading at a Kindergarten level.

From iTunes:
Over 130 award-winning storybooks that teach kids how to read. Try it today for FREE!
Created by Libby Curran, a People Magazine Teacher of the Year, The Reading Train features:
*Groundbreaking quiz game
*400+ word audio dictionary
*13 free song books
*Professional narration
*Powerful student reporting tools

Books kids CAN read.
Based on award winning books by Libby Curran, a People Magazine Teacher of the year, these little books are written so kids can learn how to read by reading books at their level.

Books kids LOVE to read.
Children are naturally curious, so encourage them to explore our leveled books on numbers, colors, animals, geometry, and science that will give them the foundational knowledge they need to succeed later in school. In between reading stories they can play the train quiz game, explore the FREE audio dictionary and listen to song books.
Give your kids the tools to succeed.
Stuck on a word? With tap to listen functionality, an audio dictionary filled with hundreds of words, and a fun game at the end of every book to assess learning, The Reading Train is packed full of tools to help children succeed, all on their own.

Read to learn
Kids read through leveled books on numbers, colors, animals, geometry, and science to build foundational knowledge, while improving reading comprehension and skills that prepare students for Common Core standards.

Quizzes disguised as games.
Play the train game after finishing a book, but don't tell them it's a quiz! On the parent's page you can check up on their progress by seeing their scores on the quizzes, question types and the individual books themselves.

Packed with FREE goodies!
Our first version has 100+ pages of free content and unlimited access to our premium illustrated dictionary with audio definitions.

The right team for the job
Created by Libby Curran, a People Magazine Teacher of the Year, The Reading Train is a culmination of 30+ years of teaching experience. Backed by an all-star team of teachers turned iOS developers and a professional children's musician, The Reading Train is serious about making learning fun.

Safe for Kids
Kid tested and teacher approved. We are ad free and take our users privacy seriously.

Keep in touch
We welcome your feedback, to keep up with all things Reading Train check out:

How The Reading Train Works
* Free users can read/listen/record all of the books in the free sections, play the game, use the dictionary, and listen to the song books.
* Subscribers get access to all 100+ books, with new books added every month.
* Our new books will expand on existing subjects and cover new subjects.
* We welcome suggestions on future books and curriculum. Contact Libby with suggestions about new content at:
* To access our entire library of books, choose either a monthly recurring subscription for $1.99, a six month recurring subscription for $7.99, or a 12 month recurring subscription for $14.99.
*We are offering special bonuses when parents opt to receive occasional emails from us about the app.
* The service can be shared with additional iPads you own.
* Your subscription is for your iTunes account and payment will be charged to your iTunes Account at confirmation of purchase (subscribing is optional and in a parent-only section of the app)
* Your subscription will automatically renew the plan you selected unless auto-renew is turned off at least 24-hours before the end of the current period.
* You may turn off auto-renewal any time from your iTunes account settings.
* No cancellation of the current subscription is allowed during active subscription period.
* We respect your privacy. View our Privacy Policy here:

Heather S. is very excited about using this app with her students for fluency practice.

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