Archive for the ‘spelling’ Category

iGames – Fun for the iPod or iPhone

January 21, 2010

I’ll admit that I was a bit resistant to an iPhone at first.  My husband, who loves all things technology, bought me one when they were first released.  But, I fell in love quickly!  Especially, when I realized the educational opportunities the phone provided for my children.  My phone is always with me, and therefore, I always have something to occupy my children at any given time.  The only problem is when I have both kids with me and only one phone!

My son is older (almost seven), so the types of educational apps I have downloaded for him consist of math facts practice, sight word recognition, and books to read.

My daughter is three and a whiz on the iPhone.  It’s really amazing how quickly small children pick up new technology.  And rather than fight it, I say go with it.  The games I download engage her and educate her.  She practices writing her letters and actually spelling words!

So, here are few apps that my children have played or that I would like them to play:

Letter Tracer

This is one of my daughter’s favorites because it allows her to practice writing her letters.  The game provides kids the opportunity to practice “writing” their letters and numbers on screen.  There is an option for capital and lower case letters.  There are three options for the child: simple recognition of the letter, opportunities to trace the letter, or an option to free write the letter.

Clifford’s Be Big with Words by Scholastic

My daughter LOVES this game!  And I love it, because it teaches her how to spell words.  And she is learning how to spell words. . . at three!  A child chooses a letter, and based on what is chosen the child is then provided with different letters until he/she spells a three letter word.  The sound of each letter is pronounced.  The word is stated out loud.  A picture is then shown and the word is used in a sentence.

Word Magic

In this game, kids are provided with an option to find the missing beginning sound, middle sound, or end sound.  A picture is provided and the word is announced.  Children are then given the option between several letters and must choose the correct letter.  This game provides great phonics practice as it allows children to listen to the sound of the letters and determine their location in a word.

Learn Sight Words

This game is clear and simple and provides 300 sight words for a child to practice and know.  Children can choose to learn 25 words at a time or go through all 300 words.  If a word is unknown or difficult, children can flag the word.  They also have an option to go through the flagged words, which gives them the opportunity to review those words.

Spelling Magic

Children can play 4 different games with provided words or words you submit yourself.  So, in essence, you can record your child’s spelling list each week and your child can study on your iPhone.  I love this aspect of this app because children have focused words to study instead of just any old word to spell.  My only complaint is that it is a bit “girlish” with unicorns, princesses, and castles.  I think it could have been designed a bit more generically.  I’m not sure how quickly my son (or any other 6 or 7 year old boy for that matter) will jump to play because of this.  It’s also a bit difficult to hear the words clearly.   But, it’s a free app, and you can add your own words, so it will do.

**Note: I have not been able to find a great spelling app.  If you are familiar with any, please let me know! **

Children’s Picture Book Apps

There are a lot of options for picture book apps.  Three that I would recommend are:

Pic Pocket Books


Mobistories (Disclosure:  I sit on the Parent Advisory Council for Mobistories)

If you have any recommendations for iPhone/iPod literacy apps, I would love to hear them!

©2010 by Dawn Little for Literacy Toolbox. All Rights Reserved.  All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G Games for Fun!

January 12, 2010

Is your child expected to learn spelling words each week?  My son is in first grade and already (!) has a list of ten words to study every week.  Attempting to get him to sit down and learn how to spell his words can be a daunting task sometimes. . . and not just for him!  So, we have come up with a few ways to practice spelling words weekly that are enjoyable and not your same old drill and practice.

Cookie Spelling (K, 1st, 2nd) – Provide a cookie sheet for your child and a container of magnetic letters (it’s best if you have multiple copies of each letter).  Have your child spell his/her words on the cookie sheet.  This is a great way to quickly assess your child’s spelling.

Alternative Activities:

  1. Have your child practice spelling known sight words as well.
  2. Teachers – create  a Cookie Spelling literacy center for your K-2 students

Back Spelling (K, 1st, 2nd) – Great for tactile learners!  Have your child simply spell his/her spelling words on your back.  You guess what the word is.  Then switch and you spell the words on your child’s back and have him/her guess what the words are.  If the back proves to be difficult, then close eyes and spell in each other’s hand.

Spelling Mix-Up (K-5th) – Write words on individual index cards.  Cut each letter out and spread out on a table, mixed up.  Put the letters together to spell the individual words.

Spelling City (K-5th) Spelling City is a website that offers parents the ability to insert their child’s spelling words (or sight words if you want!) into a family profile page.  You can create multiple lists on this page.  For example, I made individual lists of my son’s words for each month and I made a list of the sight words he is expected to know.  Children can then play games that use their own spelling words.  Teachers can incorporate this into their classrooms as well.  Additionally, you can choose to use other lists that have been created by families/classrooms around the country.

©2010 by Dawn Little for Literacy Toolbox. All Rights Reserved.  All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.