5 Best Spelling Apps

Originally published on the Playground Talk website
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Many children love to press, swipe, and play with just about any type of tablet during their down time. Yo‎u can turn this down time into learning time and help your child build stellar spelling skills with the apps detailed below.

SpellNow is a fun, interactive app for helping preschool-early elementary children build basic spelling skills. Using six different games, the app helps students learn to spell words starting with simple consonant-vowel-consonant words (like hat) and later moving into more advanced patterns. In the Word Jumble game, students “unjumble” words to spell them correctly. In the Word Match game, a rabbit presents the player with a word (such as net) and the student must then select the matching word from a series of similar words spelled slightly differently. Word Catch, Word Build, Word Hide, and Word Spell are similar games that offer a fun and interactive approach to practicing spelling.

Tricky Spelling
Tricky Spelling is a great app for reinforcing the spelling of words that do not follow predictable patterns. The app contains three levels – words with long sounds, homophones, and word endings – word types that can be challenging for students to master. Each category contains organized lists and players choose a particular list of words they’d like to practice. To play the games, the student is given a series of sentences with missing words and they must complete the missing word using its correct spelling. If the player drags incorrect letters, the letters turn red and move back to the bottom of the screen.
Montessori Crosswords
The Montessori Crosswords app helps children develop their spelling skills by teaching them to build words with different phonics patterns. Players start by building basic CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words, then move into words with blends, digraphs, silent e, vowel teams, and other combinations. Students are initially given a picture (like “bag” or “kid”) and are asked to drag letters from the alphabet at the bottom of the screen to spell the word displayed. Later, students spell words following specific phonics patterns in the form of crosswords. They can also choose themes for the activities, like animals, food, clothes, etc.
Spellyfish is a fun, engaging app for preschool and Kindergarten children to practice spelling basic words with short vowels. ‎Each of the eight lessons provides a different theme, including words containing “at,” “am,” “an”, and “ag” patterns. The animations and sound effect are colorful and engaging, and certainly make practicing spelling feel like sheer entertainment.

Short Vowel Word Study

This is a great app for reinforcing basic spelling skills at the Kindergarten-1st grade level. The app contains three main sections: word families, short vowels, and longer words. The first game is “Sort It,” where the child must sort a word into its proper vowel category; i, u, or a. In the “Find It” game‎, the child must find the “oddball” word that doesn’t belong in the same vowel family, and drag it to the bottom of the screen. The “Spell It” game reinforces spelling by displaying an image (like hat) and the child must drag letters to spell the word. The “Write It” game teaches students to trace and then independently write words. Other related fun and engaging reading games are also integrated into this app‎.
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