Showing posts with label Spelling Games. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spelling Games. Show all posts

Friday, May 21, 2021

Catchy Words - A Fun Augmented Reality App for Spelling Practice

My daughters recently became very interested in a PBS Kids show called Word World. In each episode of the show the characters build a new word. As I was watching Word World with them this morning I was reminded of a fun augmented reality app called Catchy Words AR.

Catchy Words AR is an augmented reality app that provides a fun and active way for students to practice their spelling skills. The app is available for iPad/ iPhone and it is available in an Android version. The app works the same way in both versions. 

In Catchy Words AR students will see letters "floating" on the screen. Students have to catch the letters by moving their tablets or phones. The movement often requires students to get up and move out of their seats. When they catch a letter students then have to bring it back to place it into one of a sequence of floating boxes. The object is to spell a word by catching the letters and putting them into the boxes. Take a look at my screenshot below to see how a completed word appears on a phone or tablet screen (please excuse my messy desk in the background). 


Applications for Education

Catchy Words AR can be a fun way for some students to practice their spelling skills while getting up and out of their seats. The app doesn't require any kind of registration or login which makes it good for classrooms in which students share iPads. The shortcoming of Catchy Words AR is that you can't assign a word list to your students nor can you see which words they've spelled unless you look at their tablets or phones while they're using the app.

More augmented reality and virtual reality apps and their classroom applications will be featured as part of the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. Get an early bird discount when you register in the next ten days.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and TodayHeadline. Feature screenshot captured by Richard Byrne.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Three Good Ways to Make Online Word Games

As we get toward the end of the school year many of us will be looking for some fun activities for our students to do to review key terms and concepts of the last year or semester. I shared a handful of ideas for doing that in this week's Practical Ed Tech newsletter. Another idea is to create some simple online word games for your students to play. This might sound difficult, but it's not. Thanks to Flippity and EduCandy everyone can create their own online word games. 

Flippity's Snowman word game is a game in which students have to correctly guess the letters of a word in order to prevent their snowmen from melting. The template lets you make your own variation on the game with words and hints of your choosing. Your game can be shared with students via its assigned URL. Students don't need accounts in order to play the games that you create. Here's an overview of how to create your own online word games by using Flippity's Snowman template




Educandy is a neat service for creating simple vocabulary games and multiple choice trivia games. A convenient aspect of the service is that once you've created a list of vocabulary words it will automatically be applied to multiple game formats for you. In other words, write one word list and you'll get a few games that your students can play. Your students can play the games without needing to create an account on the Educandy site. In the following video I provide an overview of how you can create games on Educandy and how your students can access your games.



Flippity's Spelling Words is a free Google Sheets template that you can use to create individualized spelling games for your students. To do this you simply have to make a list of words that you want each of your students to practice. You'll then put those lists under your students' names in a Google Sheets template that is provided by Flippity. The following tutorial video walks you through the process of creating individualized spelling games in with Flippity's Spelling Words template. 


This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin, TodayHeadline, and 711Web. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Knoword Offers Fun Vocabulary and Spelling Games

Knoword is a site that I first reviewed more than eight years ago. Over the years the it has evolved but one thing has remained the same, it offers a fun and challenging way for students to test their vocabulary and spelling skills.

The latest iteration of Knoword has three levels for students to play. The game is played the same way across all three levels. To play the game simply pick a level and then hit "Begin." Once you begin you have 90 seconds to correctly spell as many words as possible. The catch is that you have guess what words to spell based on the definitions that are provided. It's a bit like Jeopardy in that way. You can earn more time to keep the game going by getting streaks of five correct words in row.

Applications for Education
Knoword offers a fun way for students to test their spelling and vocabulary skills. Students can play the game without signing up for a Knoword account. But they can sign up for an account if they want to keep track of their scores.

Friday, May 31, 2019

8 Good Resources to Help Students Develop Spelling Skills

Last night the Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in an eight-way tie! In honor of the eight champions, here are eight resources that can help your students develop their spelling skills.

Making Sense of Spelling
Making Sense of Spelling is a TED-Ed lesson that explains why some words have multiple correct spellings, the relationships between words, and why not all words are spelled the way they sound.



Flippity Spelling Words
Flippity offers a great Google Sheets template that you can use to create custom, individualized spelling games for your students. Watch my video embedded below to see how you can create spelling games with Flippity's Spelling Words template.


Teach Your Monster to Read Minigames
Teach Your Monster to Read is a fun online environment in which students play games that are designed to help them improve the speed and accuracy with which they recognize letters, sounds, and words. Students play the games as friendly monster avatars that they are helping learn to read. If you want something that doesn't require any set-up time, try the minigames on Teach Your Monster to Read. Teach Your Monster to Read Minigames are games that students can play in a short amount of time and can quit at any time. The idea behind this being that students can quickly jump into a game and get a bit of practice in intervals rather than having to play through a longer game. There are six minigames that let students practice sound identification for every letter of the alphabet. There are three minigames that have a basic spelling component to them.

World's Worst Pet
World’s Worst Pet is a free iPad app that contains a series of fun vocabulary games. In the app players have to help bring home Snargg, the world’s worst pet, who has run away. To get Snargg back players have to fill his food dish by learning new vocabulary words. Each of the six levels in the game contain ten dishes (each dish represents a new set of words) that can be filled. Four games are available for each dish. The games are fill-in-the-blank, synonym identification, antonym identification, and definition identification. World’s Worst Pet is designed for students in grades four through eight. The app contains a total of 1,000 vocabulary words.

Knoword
Knoword is a fun and challenging game that tests your ability to match definitions to words. Knoword is played like this; you're presented with the first letter of a word, its part of speech, and the definition. You then have to fill in the correct spelling of the word. If you enter the correct word, you earn points. If you don't get it right, you lose points. Knoword is probably best suited to use by students in middle school and high school. I think many of the words would be too difficult for elementary school students and they could end up frustrated with the game.

Spell It Out Challenge
Vox's Spell It Out challenge presents you with the final winning words from twenty past national spelling bees. You will hear the word pronounced then you have to type it in the spelling box to submit your answer. Before submitting your answer you can hear the word used in a sentence and see the origin of the word.

TinyTap Games
TinyTap is a service that lets you create educational games for your students to play on their iPads, Android tablets, and in their web browsers. For the most part the style of games that are created on TinyTap are identification activities in which students either choose an answer or type an answer to a question. Recently, TinyTap added the option for students to speak responses to game questions. TinyTap's Talk or Type feature lets you create activities that your students can interact with by speaking. 

ABCya Spelling Games
ABCya offers hundreds of games covering a wide range of topics. The games are designed for K-6 students. One of the spelling games that you might want to try is Submarine Spelling. Submarine Spelling is a based on the Dolch Word List. Students progress through the list by hearing then spelling each word by dragging and dropping letters into the correct order. Spelling the words correctly moves students' submarines through the ocean. 

Friday, April 26, 2019

How to Create Individualized Online Spelling Games for Your Students

Last Sunday I published a written overview of how to use Flippity's Spelling Words template to create individualized online spelling games for your students. The template can be accessed from Flippity.net or through the Google Sheets add-on of the same name. I fielded a handful of questions about the template this week. To answer those questions I made the following tutorial video.



As I wrote earlier this week, Flippity Spelling Words games has three primary modes for students. The first is "list" which simply reads each spelling word aloud to students. The second mode is "practice" in which students hear a word read aloud and then have to type it. The third mode is "quiz" mode in which students again hear the words read aloud and have to type them. It is quiz scores that you can have emailed to you.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Create Individualized Spelling Games Through Flippity Spelling Words

Flippity's Spelling Words is a free Google Sheets template that you can use to create individualized spelling games for your students. To do this you simply have to make a list of words that you want each of your students to practice. You'll then put those lists under your students' names in a Google Sheets template that is provided by Flippity.

How to Create a Spelling Game Through Flippity:

  • To get started you can either go to Flippity.net and select the Spelling Words template or use Flippity's Google Sheets add-on and select Spelling Words. 
  • Once you have made a copy of the template you then have to write your students' names across the second row of the spreadsheet. 
  • Below each student's name you will enter the list of words that you want them to practice spelling. 
    • If you would like to, you can enter a sentence along with each spelling word in order to provide students with some content for its use. 
  • There is an option to have students' results emailed to you. To do that you enter your email address below each student's name in your spreadsheet.
  • Once you have completed the steps listed above, select "publish to the web" from the "File" drop-down menu in Google Sheets and then click the "get link here" tab that appears at the bottom of your spreadsheet. That link is the one that you will give to students to play the games. 


How to Play a Flippity Spelling Words Game:

Flippity Spelling Words games has three primary modes for students. The first is "list" which simply reads each spelling word aloud to students. The second mode is "practice" in which students hear a word read aloud and then have to type it. The third mode is "quiz" mode in which students again hear the words read aloud and have to type them. It is quiz scores that you can have emailed to you. 

For students to play a Flippity Spelling Words game they have to go to the URL that you generated in the last step of the creation process outlined above. They then have to select their names from the list of names that appears on the screen. If a student chooses the wrong name, he/she can simply hit the back button to choose a different name. Students can progress through the games at their own pace. 

If your students master the spelling games that you have created for them through Flippity Spelling Words, they can choose the "more" tab on their games and see a set of related activities that are based on the same set of words. Those additional games included a memory/ matching game, a snowman/ hangman game, a word scramble, and a word search. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Winning Words - Fun Word Games for Kids

Parts of this post originally appeared on one of my other blogs, iPadApps4School.com.

Winning Words is the developer of seven free word games for students to play on their iPads. All of the games use the same style as the classic Memory card game. For example, in Antonym Match students have to flip over one card that has a word written on one side. Then they have to flip over another card to try to find the antonym to the first word they saw. If a match isn’t found the cards flip over and the player has to start again.

Antonym Match can be played by up to four people at a time. You can choose a level of difficulty and the number of cards displayed in each game.

There are six similar games offered by Winning Words. Those games are Synonym Match, Homophone Match, Compound Word Match, Singular and Plural Match, Verb Match, and Double Letter Match. All of the Winning Words games can be found here.

Applications for Education
The Winnings Words games are free and do not require registration in order to play them. That makes these apps a nice option for a quick review activities in elementary school classrooms.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

10 Sites and Apps for Vocabulary and Spelling Practice - Best of 2016

As I usually do during this week, I'm taking some time off to relax, ski, and work on some long-term projects for the next year. This week I will be re-publishing the most popular posts of 2016. 

Last night I watched the conclusion of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. A recap of the finals is available on the Associated Press YouTube channel. Like many others who watched the finals, I have to admit that there were some new-to-me words in the final rounds. That reminded me that I have a bunch of sites and apps in my archives that can help students learn new vocabulary words and practice spelling new words.

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.

Building Language for Literacy offers three nice little language activities from Scholastic. The activities are designed for pre-K and Kindergarten students. The spelling activity is called  Leo Loves to Spell. Leo Loves to Spell asks students to help a lobster named Leo identify the first letter of a series of spelling words arranged in a dozen categories.

Spell Up is a fun Google Chrome experimentSpell Up is a game in which you hear a prompt to spell a word then have to speak into your laptop or Chromebook to see the word spelled on your screen. If you spell the word correctly it stays on the screen where it becomes part of a tower of words. If you spell a word incorrectly, it will fall off the screen and you will be prompted to try again (you can skip a word after a few tries).

Knoword is a fun and challenging game that tests your ability to match definitions to words. Knoword is played like this; you're presented with the first letter of a word, its part of speech, and the definition. You then have to fill in the correct spelling of the word. If you enter the correct word, you earn points. If you don't get it right, you lose points. You don't have to register to play Knoword, but you can register if you want to. Registering for Knoword gives you the option to keep track of your game statistics. Registered users can also earn badges based on their performances. In the few games that I played I noticed that Knoword is probably best suited to use by students in middle school and high school. I think many of the words would be too difficult for elementary school students and they could end up frustrated with the game.

Your students can test their spelling skills against those of past winners of the Scripp's National Spelling Bee on Vox's Spell It Out challenge. Vox's spelling challenge presents you with the final winning words from twenty past national spelling bees. You will hear the word pronounced then you have to type it in the spelling box to submit your answer. Before submitting your answer you can hear the word used in a sentence and see the origin of the word.

WordWriter is a neat writing tool from BoomWriter. WordWriter allows teachers to create vocabulary lists that they want students to incorporate into a writing assignment. Assignments are distributed directly to students through the class lists that teachers create in their BoomWriter accounts. Students do not need email addresses to receive the assignments. Teachers can log-in at any time to see if and when a student has completed an assignment. Click here for videos on how to use the service.

World’s Worst Pet is a free iPad app that contains a series of fun vocabulary games. In the app players have to help bring home Snargg, the world’s worst pet, who has run away. To get Snargg back players have to fill his food dish by learning new vocabulary words. Each of the six levels in the game contain ten dishes (each dish represents a new set of words) that can be filled. Four games are available for each dish. The games are fill-in-the-blank, synonym identification, antonym identification, and definition identification. World’s Worst Pet is designed for students in grades four through eight. The app contains a total of 1,000 vocabulary words.

PrepFactory is a free service for high school students can use to prepare for the SAT and or ACT. PrepFactory offers students a series of tutorial videos and written tips to help them prepare for both tests. After completing a tutorial students can test themselves in a series of practice questions. Each question set is timed and and limited to chunks of ten questions at a time. Students can earn badges for completing tutorials or question sets. Click here for video of PrepFactory in action.

Spell 'til You Drop is a free iPad published by McGraw-Hill. To play the game students have to correctly spell words as they are read aloud to them. The app gets its name from the game format used throughout the app. For each correctly spelled word students move across a footbridge. For each word spelled incorrectly a piece of the bridge drops away. The object is to cross each bridge before it collapses.Spell 'til You Drop offers eight levels of difficulty for students to play. The levels are loosely based on grade levels. One complaint about the app is that it lacks a QWERTY keyboard. Students who are familiar with QWERTY keyboards may be frustrated by searching for letters in Spell 'til You Drop's letter bank.

Flippity offers a great template for creating spelling practice activities for your students. Using Google Spreadsheets you can create an activity in which students hear a word read aloud then have to type it correctly into a quiz form. Students receive instant feedback on their practice attempts. A demo of the Flippity spelling practice activity is available here.

Disclosure: Prep Factory and Boom Writer are advertisers on FreeTech4Teachers.com.

Friday, May 27, 2016

10 Sites and Apps for Vocabulary and Spelling Practice

Last night I watched the conclusion of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. A recap of the finals is available on the Associated Press YouTube channel. Like many others who watched the finals, I have to admit that there were some new-to-me words in the final rounds. That reminded me that I have a bunch of sites and apps in my archives that can help students learn new vocabulary words and practice spelling new words.

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.

Building Language for Literacy offers three nice little language activities from Scholastic. The activities are designed for pre-K and Kindergarten students. The spelling activity is called  Leo Loves to Spell. Leo Loves to Spell asks students to help a lobster named Leo identify the first letter of a series of spelling words arranged in a dozen categories.

Spell Up is a fun Google Chrome experimentSpell Up is a game in which you hear a prompt to spell a word then have to speak into your laptop or Chromebook to see the word spelled on your screen. If you spell the word correctly it stays on the screen where it becomes part of a tower of words. If you spell a word incorrectly, it will fall off the screen and you will be prompted to try again (you can skip a word after a few tries).

Knoword is a fun and challenging game that tests your ability to match definitions to words. Knoword is played like this; you're presented with the first letter of a word, its part of speech, and the definition. You then have to fill in the correct spelling of the word. If you enter the correct word, you earn points. If you don't get it right, you lose points. You don't have to register to play Knoword, but you can register if you want to. Registering for Knoword gives you the option to keep track of your game statistics. Registered users can also earn badges based on their performances. In the few games that I played I noticed that Knoword is probably best suited to use by students in middle school and high school. I think many of the words would be too difficult for elementary school students and they could end up frustrated with the game.

Your students can test their spelling skills against those of past winners of the Scripp's National Spelling Bee on Vox's Spell It Out challenge. Vox's spelling challenge presents you with the final winning words from twenty past national spelling bees. You will hear the word pronounced then you have to type it in the spelling box to submit your answer. Before submitting your answer you can hear the word used in a sentence and see the origin of the word.

WordWriter is a neat writing tool from BoomWriter. WordWriter allows teachers to create vocabulary lists that they want students to incorporate into a writing assignment. Assignments are distributed directly to students through the class lists that teachers create in their BoomWriter accounts. Students do not need email addresses to receive the assignments. Teachers can log-in at any time to see if and when a student has completed an assignment. Click here for videos on how to use the service.

World’s Worst Pet is a free iPad app that contains a series of fun vocabulary games. In the app players have to help bring home Snargg, the world’s worst pet, who has run away. To get Snargg back players have to fill his food dish by learning new vocabulary words. Each of the six levels in the game contain ten dishes (each dish represents a new set of words) that can be filled. Four games are available for each dish. The games are fill-in-the-blank, synonym identification, antonym identification, and definition identification. World’s Worst Pet is designed for students in grades four through eight. The app contains a total of 1,000 vocabulary words.

PrepFactory is a free service for high school students can use to prepare for the SAT and or ACT. PrepFactory offers students a series of tutorial videos and written tips to help them prepare for both tests. After completing a tutorial students can test themselves in a series of practice questions. Each question set is timed and and limited to chunks of ten questions at a time. Students can earn badges for completing tutorials or question sets. Click here for video of PrepFactory in action.

Spell 'til You Drop is a free iPad published by McGraw-Hill. To play the game students have to correctly spell words as they are read aloud to them. The app gets its name from the game format used throughout the app. For each correctly spelled word students move across a footbridge. For each word spelled incorrectly a piece of the bridge drops away. The object is to cross each bridge before it collapses.Spell 'til You Drop offers eight levels of difficulty for students to play. The levels are loosely based on grade levels. One complaint about the app is that it lacks a QWERTY keyboard. Students who are familiar with QWERTY keyboards may be frustrated by searching for letters in Spell 'til You Drop's letter bank.

Flippity offers a great template for creating spelling practice activities for your students. Using Google Spreadsheets you can create an activity in which students hear a word read aloud then have to type it correctly into a quiz form. Students receive instant feedback on their practice attempts. A demo of the Flippity spelling practice activity is available here.

Disclosure: Prep Factory and Boom Writer are advertisers on FreeTech4Teachers.com.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Spell 'til You Drop - A Free iPad App for Spelling Practice

Spell 'til You Drop is a free iPad published by McGraw-Hill. To play the game students have to correctly spell words as they are read aloud to them. The app gets its name from the game format used throughout the app. For each correctly spelled word students move across a footbridge. For each word spelled incorrectly a piece of the bridge drops away. The object is to cross each bridge before it collapses.

Applications for Education
Spell 'til You Drop offers eight levels of difficulty for students to play. The levels are loosely based on grade levels.

One complaint about the app is that it lacks a QWERTY keyboard. Students who are familiar with QWERTY keyboards may be frustrated by searching for letters in Spell 'til You Drop's letter bank.

H/T to David Kapuler

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

7 Free Spelling Apps and Sites

Over the years one of the most searched terms on FreeTech4Teachers.com has consistently been "spelling games." It has been more than a year since I published an updated list of good spelling apps and sites. Here's my latest round-up of free apps and sites for spelling practice.

Manulife Word Hunter is a free iPad app designed to help children learn new words. The app features a board game that students move through by rolling dice and correctly spelling new words as they go. Kids can play the game alone or with up to two other players. To start playing the Word Hunter game students select avatars then roll the dice. The dice indicate how many spaces to move on the board. The spaces on the board contain new word challenges. Students see the word, see an object representing the word, and can hear the word read aloud before attempting to spell it on their own. If a student spells a word correctly he or she gets a bonus action that allows them to either skip ahead, skip another player’s turn, or move another player backwards.

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.

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.

Building Language for Literacy offers three nice little language activities from Scholastic. The activities are designed for pre-K and Kindergarten students. The spelling activity is called  Leo Loves to Spell. Leo Loves to Spell asks students to help a lobster named Leo identify the first letter of a series of spelling words arranged in a dozen categories.

Spell Up is a fun Google Chrome experimentSpell Up is a game in which you hear a prompt to spell a word then have to speak into your laptop or Chromebook to see the word spelled on your screen. If you spell the word correctly it stays on the screen where it becomes part of a tower of words. If you spell a word incorrectly, it will fall off the screen and you will be prompted to try again (you can skip a word after a few tries).

Your students can test their spelling skills against those of past winners of the Scripp's National Spelling Bee on Vox's Spell It Out challenge. Vox's spelling challenge presents you with the final winning words from twenty past national spelling bees. You will hear the word pronounced then you have to type it in the spelling box to submit your answer. Before submitting your answer you can hear the word used in a sentence and see the origin of the word.

Spelling Monster is an Android 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.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

DigiPuzzle - Fun Math, Spelling, and Typing Games for Kids

DigiPuzzle is a free site offering dozens of fun games for kids. The games are relatively simple exercises designed to help students practice skills in mathematics, typing, letter recognition, and spelling.

The mathematics section is the largest section of DigiPuzzle. In the math section your students will find games on counting, fractions, addition, subtraction, and multiplication.

The language section of DigiPuzzle offers games in which students practice recognizing the letters of the alphabet. In the same section you will find some basic spelling and word search games.

In the typing section of DigiPuzzle you can find six games that students can play to develop their typing skills. Three of the games include a virtual keyboard to use if a student plays the games on a table. My favorite of the typing games is photo typing puzzle. In that game students reveal a piece of a picture with each letter that they correctly type on their keyboards.

Applications for Education
None of these games are ground-breaking, but they are fun to play as a review activity. DigiPuzzle is the kind of website that you might want to keep bookmarked as a resource to use when you need a quick review activity for kids or when parents ask for an educational games website recommendation.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Words Mine Offers a Tetris-like Game for Spelling Practice

Part of this post originally appeared on my other blog, iPadApps4School.com

Words Mine is a free iPad app that combines elements of Tetris with spelling games. The challenge of Words Mine is to spell words quickly before the screen fills up with blocks. Each block contains one letter. Choose blocks from each column to be sure that one column doesn’t reach the top of the screen too quickly. A columns drop down when a letter is used from it. If you need more letter options just shake your iPad to make more letters drop into the screen.

Applications for Education
Words Mine is a simple yet addictive app to that students will enjoy playing while practicing spelling. I could see students quickly getting hooked on this game. I found myself having trouble putting the game down.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Three Fun and Free iPad Apps for Learning to Spell New Words

Parts of this post originally appeared on my other blog, iPadApps4School.com

Manulife Word Hunter is a free iPad app designed to help children learn new words. The app features a board game that students move through by rolling dice and correctly spelling new words as they go. Kids can play the game alone or with up to two other players. To start playing the Word Hunter game students select avatars then roll the dice. The dice indicate how many spaces to move on the board. The spaces on the board contain new word challenges. Students see the word, see an object representing the word, and can hear the word read aloud before attempting to spell it on their own. If a student spells a word correctly he or she gets a bonus action that allows them to either skip ahead, skip another player’s turn, or move another player backwards.

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.

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.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Could You Win the National Spelling Bee? - Test Yourself With These Winning Words

Last night two champions were crowned in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. As I watched the final moments last night I knew that I would not have been able to spell some of the words presented to the competitors. If you and or your students would like to test your spelling skills against those of past winners, take a look at Vox's Spell It Out challenge.

Vox's spelling challenge presents you with the final winning words from twenty past national spelling bees. You will hear the word pronounced then you have to type it in the spelling box to submit your answer. Before submitting your answer you can hear the word used in a sentence and see the origin of the word.

Applications for Education
One of the nice things about Vox's Spell It Out challenge is that students can see the importance of understanding word origins and root words in determining how to spell a word.

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for Tweeting about this yesterday. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Spell Up - A Fun Way to Learn to Spell in Chrome

Spell Up is a fun new Google Chrome experiment. Spell Up is a game in which you hear a prompt to spell a word then have to speak into your laptop or Chromebook to see the word spelled on your screen. If you spell the word correctly it stays on the screen where it becomes part of a tower of words. If you spell a word incorrectly, it will fall off the screen and you will be prompted to try again (you can skip a word after a few tries). Learn more about Spell Up in the video below.

Applications for Education
Spell Up could be a fun way for students to practice spelling new words. In my test of the game I had to articulate my letters very carefully or my words were not recognized as being spelled correctly. For example, "b" and "p" were difficult in my testing and knowing myself I'm sure that Spell Up would have difficulty with my "f" and "s" sounds. In that regard Spell Up could be good for helping students practice correcly articulating their sounds.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

FunBrain - Dozens of Educational Games for K-8

FunBrain hosts a collection games that elementary school and middle school students can use to practice mathematics and language arts. A few of the games on FunBrain that I tried include Grammar Gorillas, Mad Libs School Rules, and Math Basketball. In Grammar Gorillas students "feed" a gorilla by correctly identifying parts of speech. Mad Libs School Rules, like any Mad Libs activity, asks students to fill in the blanks in a story with verbs, nouns, and adjectives. Math Basketball presents students with math problems to solve in order to pass and shoot a basketball.

Applications for Education
The FunBrain games aren't anything special in terms of format or visual effects. If you're looking for some practice activities for your students then FunBrain is worth taking a look at. The games are arranged into grade level collections.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

5 Free Services for Helping Students Learn to Spell

Yesterday, I shared a TED-Ed lesson called Making Sense of Spelling. As a follow-up to that post here are some resources that your students can use to develop and practice their spelling skills.

Sproutster is a free iPad game that has a concept similar to the one behind Free Rice. The difference between the two games is that Sproutster wants you to spell words and Free Rice wants you to guess the definition of words. Sproutster asks you to spell three to five letter words by catching letters in a bucket as the letters rain down on you. You don't need to catch all of the letters. You just need to catch letters in sequence to spell any word that you like (proper nouns don't count). When you have spelled a word dump it out to make a plant grow. When the plant has reached its full size you move on to the next level. For each plant that is grown Sproutster donates 30-50 grains of rice to the UN WFP.

Dictionary.com offers six registration-free and fun word games. The two games that I like best are Miss Spell's Class and Word Kingdom. In Miss Spell's Class students are presented with twenty commonly misspelled words and quickly decide if the spelling they're looking at is correct or incorrect. Word Kingdom could be described as Zelda meets word search. In Word Kingdom players have to construct words in order to earn objects like wood and gold. Once enough objects are earned players can move on to the next level until they have built their Word Kingdoms.

Vocabulary Spelling City offers a database of more than 42,000 spelling words and sentences. The words and sentences can be customized for your students. This means that Vocabulary Spelling City supports US and UK spellings of words like "favorite" and "favourite," "color" and "colour." Teachers can use Vocabulary Spelling City to create custom lists of words for their students to practice spelling and to study the definitions of those words. To help students learn the proper pronunciation of the words on their practice lists Vocabulary Spelling City provides clear, spoken recordings of every word. Students can play games, study words, and quiz themselves on the spellings of the words on their lists. Vocabulary Spelling City allows teachers to print activities for use in their classrooms when their students don't have access to computers.

Spell + Friends is a free iPad app that provides students with word lists to practice in a virtual spelling bee manner. There are three modes in Spell + Friends. Learn mode is for creating word lists to study. Practice mode reads words to students that they then have to spell correctly in the app. Compete mode allows students to compete head-to-head against other users of the app. In the Learn mode students select new words to learn. There are more than 2,000 words in the word bank. The words are divided into three categories based on how frequently they are used.

Building Language for Literacy offers three nice little language activities from Scholastic. The activities are designed for pre-K and Kindergarten students. The spelling activity is called  Leo Loves to Spell. Leo Loves to Spell asks students to help a lobster named Leo identify the first letter of a series of spelling words arranged in a dozen categories.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Spell + Friends Helps Students Learn to Spell

Spell + Friends is a free iPad app that provides students with word lists to practice in a virtual spelling bee manner. There are three modes in Spell + Friends. Learn mode is for creating word lists to study. Practice mode reads words to students that they then have to spell correctly in the app. Compete mode allows students to compete head-to-head against other users of the app. 

In the Learn mode students select new words to learn. There are more than 2,000 words in the word bank. The words are divided into three categories based on how frequently they are used.

In the Practice mode students practice spelling words that are read to them from their word lists. In addition to hearing the pronunciation of the words they can find the definition and origin of the word. Students can also read a sentence that uses the word they're trying to spell.

In the Compete mode students can play against others who are nearby in a peer-to-peer environment. The Compete mode will search for other iPads and iPhones that have Spell + Friends running at the same time. Students can also compete against the world in the Spell + Friends game center.

Applications for Education
Spell + Friends provides students with a way to track their progress as they learn their new word lists. I like that students can find the origins and definitions of the words without having to use another app or open a dictionary.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sproutster - Spell Words and Support the UN World Food Program

Sproutster is a free iPad game that has a concept similar to the one behind Free Rice. The difference between the two games is that Sproutster wants you to spell words and Free Rice wants you to guess the definition of words.

Sproutster asks you to spell three to five letter words by catching letters in a bucket as the letters rain down on you. You don't need to catch all of the letters. You just need to catch letters in sequence to spell any word that you like (proper nouns don't count). When you have spelled a word dump it out to make a plant grow. When the plant has reached its full size you move on to the next level. For each plant that is grown Sproutster donates 30-50 grains of rice to the UN WFP.

Applications for Education
Sproutster could be a fun way for students to practice spelling simple words. If your students have a vocabulary list that they are studying in your classroom, have them try spelling the words on that list. My one complaint about Sproutster is that even on the first level the letters fall very quickly. I would like to see a level on which the letters move just a little bit slower.

Thanks to Jen Deyenberg for sharing this fun app.