In a society that’s heavily reliant on the safety net of spell check, the rules, patterns, and conventions of spelling may seem inconsequential to some. However, having a proper grasp of the nuances of spelling and especially an ingrained knowledge of common word spellings is a key foundational element for student success. When all the pencil and paper activities have been exhausted, powering up a device can bring a renewed sense of interest to routine spelling practice. These 5 apps for spelling will put students on the right track to avoid arranging letters in the wrong way.
@Reks Spelling Apps — The folks at @Reks have created some great apps for spelling. With Build a Word Express and Phonics Free, users can get a feel for the collection at no cost. The additional 3 apps are just $2.99 each. All 5 of @Reks apps that focus on spelling can be used with their pre-loaded lists or custom lists that can be shared with multiple users. Whether students need to focus on common sight words, long vowels, short vowels, or phonics, students can learn, practice, play games, and/or take quizzes within the variety of modes available. Modifications for special needs students can also be enabled that allow for adjustment to backgrounds, letter size, answer methods, and repetition. With the history allowing student progress to be tracked, these apps are great formative assessment tools.
Spell with Pip: An Oxford Spelling Game — The Oxford Dictionaries for Children team is behind this app that focuses on the words that children commonly find difficult to spell. Young spellers are on a mission to get Pip the Parrot back to his jungle home. Word difficulty increases as users progress through the eighteen available levels. Words collected on missions are added to students’ dictionaries where definitions and language can be explored. At $3.99, this engaging arcade-like game play is the perfect way to spark an interest in spelling for students at the PreK-2 levels.
Spelling Bug — This short and sweet freebie is both simple and visually appealing. Users are presented with a visual image of a word, blanks for each letter, and letter tiles to place in the proper order. The words are pronounced for students, and then they use their fingers to drag and properly arrange the tiles. With both visual and audio cues, young spellers are able to practice spelling numerous common sight words.
SpellingCity — This multifaceted and engaging app offers testing and practice for both spelling and vocabulary. A variety of word lists are available, and custom lists can also be added. The app can be used to introduce new words, practice words with a variety of different games and activities, and/or test mastery with immediate feedback. Games and activities include alphabetizing, supplying missing letters, unscrambling, hangman, and several others. The premium package offers even more options than the free ones listed here.
Word Fall — This app is an engaging opportunity for more seasoned spellers to practice their skills. There are 4 difficulty levels, which include the standards of Easy, Normal, and Hard, but the additional Survival Mode will really keep spellers that are up to the challenge on their toes. Game play is just as the name suggests, words are created as letters fall from the top of the screen, and users sift through them to create responses. The longer the word and/or the less common the letters used, the more points received. While this app doesn’t focus on specific sets of words, it does require users to put their spelling knowledge to the test and sharpen their skills. A perfect app for older students that adds an educational component to some engaging, downtime fun.
Because spell check doesn’t always catch misspellings when another word is formed, this foundational skill is one that needs to be mastered. With apps that allow list creation, game play, and/or random reviews, spelling practice has never been more engaging. These 5 apps for spelling success could soon make the spell checker an obsolete necessity.