With the Scripps National Spelling Bee quickly approaching, what better way to celebrate the next batch of competitors than with mobile applications and games that can prepare Elementary to Middle School students for spelling quizzes and tests? No matter the method of delivery, these apps vetted by educational experts can help students spell, expand their vocabularies and use words in the correct context.
Simplex Spelling Phonics – Advanced Phonograms ($4.99 – iPad, iPhone)
Very few spelling apps actually teach spelling concepts; most just test what students already know. This app systematically teaches and assesses a broad range of phonics principles in a clear, straightforward manner. There are many opportunities to customize the app for each student, and as many as 40 student profiles can be stored in the application. Students select a phonics lesson from 52 choices. Many dictation apps do not provide a sentence context, so this is a plus for Simplex Spelling. Answers are typed or dragged into place. A hint button provides help or the chance to hear the lesson again. Students and parents can see lists of words mastered. There is much to learn about spelling beyond phonics, but the sound level is vital for spelling well. Many middle school students may have missed these concepts in elementary grades.
(Curated by Ruth McQuirter Scott)
Spelling Test by FunExam.com ($0.99 – iPhone, iPad, Android Handheld)
Parents and kids will absolutely love Spelling Test by FunExam, which is completely customizable and perfect for supporting children with their class’ weekly spelling list. Spelling Test makes it easy to monitor your kid’s progress and figure out where they need extra help by taking a quick look at how they answered questions during practice quizzes. Spelling Test by FunExam makes it easy to set up a list of spelling words that are unique to your child. Parents or their children can type in a word and record themselves saying it. Once their list of words is complete, kids can take a practice quiz. They’ll hear their own voice (or their parent’s) read a word aloud and have to type it in using the correct spelling.
(Curated by Monica Burns)
SpellBoard ($4.99 – iPad, iPhone)
SpellBoard is great because it lets your student not only study their spelling words through writing practice, flashcard practice and listening but also through interactive games. Additionally, after taking the quiz, your student will have their data tracked which can be accessed at any time. The homepage looks like a cork board, which is where all important information will be stored. You can look at past quizzes, spelling lists and the history of their test results. Students can customize their own spelling lists, create their own, or download them from PalaSoftware (the app developer) or iTunes. By using auditory, visual and kinesthetic strategies to learn the words, your child will be set up for success on the test.
(Curated by Ariel Weiss)
Spell Friendzy (Free – iPhone, Android Handheld)
This app has tons of spelling practice, including words from kindergarten through 12th grade. Students have the opportunity to play with students in their class and around the world. For parents who would prefer that students not use this app interactively, there is still plenty to do within the individual practice. Students can choose to practice independently in the learning center, play with kids around the world or create an account to play with friends. Teachers have to be registered to create the challenges, so students can’t simply challenge their friends on their own. Each level consists of a ten-question multiple choice spelling quiz. Students are given instant feedback on their choices, and shown the correct spelling if they choose the wrong word.
(Curated by Megan Samarin)
Spelling Millionaire 2 ($0.99 – iPhone)
This app is simple in its premise – just choosing whether a spelling is right or wrong – yet loaded with bells and whistles that will keep players interested. There is an option to have incorrect choices repeated or to check a dictionary definition. The free standard version is challenging and best suited to middle school students who are already good spellers. In-app purchases, however, allow players to select various levels of difficulty and have extra help with their decisions. The game show format, with its flashy visuals and applause for correct answers, is sure to appeal to Middle School players.
(Curated by Ruth McQuirter Scott)