Monday, October 26, 2015

Spelling Apps

Spell with Pip

It seems that these days there is an app for everything. So much so that it can cause any parent or teacher’s head to spin when trying to find tools for a specific need. However, when doing a little investigation into spelling apps, I found I kept coming up short. There were a lot of resources out there, but not all of them were robust enough to build critical orthographic skills. There are a variety of fun, engaging games available, but many tended to lack the educational vigor required to build skills or provide needed interventions. 

Regular practice is key for building spelling skills. It is equally important to provide students with fun, motivating ways to practice these skills. We don’t want literacy learning to hinge exclusively on spelling tests and worksheets. With that in mind,  I have chronicled a few of the strong, game-based digital tools that help students practice their spelling skills

Spelling Monster is an app that allows kids to practice spelling words with fun interactive games. The stats section of the app will let parents or teachers know how long a child is practicing and where they might need extra help. Soon, teachers will have the ability to upload their own personalized spelling lists. Educators will then be able to set objectives and get alerts and weekly reports when students meet their goals.

Spell with Pip is an interactive spelling game created by the makers of the Oxford dictionary. The game gradually gets more difficult as children progress through the levels. The game includes a personal dictionary, and focuses on words that children commonly find hard to spell. The added benefit that I find immensely helpful as a Canadian teacher working in America, is that the games can be offered in either US or UK English. That means whether you spell it “realize” or “realise”, this game has you covered.

Word Domino is a game that allows children to build words with the proposed syllable tiles. The game can be played in single or multi-player versions, which is a great way for students to build their recognition of letter patterns. There is a vocal synthesis function where words are spoken once they are found, which can reinforce sight word recognition also.

Word Domino

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