I was recently contacted by a teacher who has just received a new iPad to use for the rest of the year before her students receive them in the fall. She was seeking recommendations for free spelling apps. Here are five that I pulled from my archives.
Rocket Speller is a fun iPad app designed for students in Kindergarten through grade two. The purpose of the app is to help students learn to spell words simple words that are three to ten letters long. As students progress through the levels of the app they get stars. After they get three stars students pick out the parts they want to use to build a rocket ship. Rocket Speller has five levels for students to work through. The first level uses three to six letter words and gives audio and visual clues to students. The second level features words up to ten letters in length and offers audio and visual hints. The third through fifth levels have words up to ten letters in length but reduce the number of clues available to students.
Bitsboard is a free iPad app that provides word games, memory games, spelling games, and reading practice activities, and dozens of other activities in one place. On the Bitsboard app students can learn new vocabulary words, how to tell time, and how to count money. Students can also use the app to learn basic geography. When students first open Bitsboard on their iPads they will have six topics shown on their homescreens. Those six topics are emotions, animals, famous places, first sentences, introductory English vocabulary, and introductory Spanish vocabulary. Opening any of those topics takes students to their choice of eight practice activities including flashcards, true or false quizzes, word building practice, reading practice, and matching activities.
Stumpy’s Alphabet Dinner is a fun app in which students feed letters and shapes to cartoon characters. The letters and shapes that students feed to the characters have to match the letter or shape displayed on the character’s stomach. If the child makes an incorrect match the character spits out the letter.
Spelling Monster is an iPad app (free and paid versions available) that students will enjoy using to practice spelling words. On Spelling Monster students can create their own lists of words or use lists shared with them (sharing only available in paid version). The app contains a half dozen games through which students can practice spelling the words in their lists. Spelling Monster keeps track of the number of times a game is played and the percentage of words spelled correctly. Students do not have to create an account to use Spelling Monster. The app can be used without a connection to the Internet.
Vocabulary and Spelling City has been available on the web for years. It’s a great place for students to go to learn and practice spelling new vocabulary words. Last year they launched an iPad and iPhone app. The free app grants students access to the same vocabulary lists that they use on the SpellingCity website. SpellingCity’s list of words for students currently exceeds 42,000. The Spelling and Vocabulary City app offers eight free practice activities. I am particularly fond of the Missing Letter and Audio Word Match activities. In Missing Letter students have to identify the letter that is missing in order to correctly spell the words that they see. Audio Word Match is a memory game in which students flip over cards, hear the words on the cards read aloud, then try to match the cards.