Spelling Apps for the iPad and iPhone

In a world with spell check, why is studying spelling still important? It aids in reading. It helps cement the connection that is shared between sounds and letters. Learning high-frequency sight words also has been shown to help with both reading and writing. Not only is the ability to spell necessary in most occupations, but a person also needs to be able to spell well in order to be able to communicate and take notes and directions.

For all students
The Custom Spelling Test Creator $2.99 For all ages. The app enables users to create their own spelling tests. It has a practice mode to help students practice words before quizzing themselves. Quiz mode helps the student track their practice.

Speaking Spelling Bee Free- This is an iPhone app that can be used on all IOS devices. Perfect for the auditory learner. Word lists range from first grade to 7th grade. In addition there are medium and advanced challenges. It also has a customizable feature allowing users to add their own words.

Spellboard $4.99 – For all grades! Enter your spelling words and the spoken word. You can even add a sentence for homophones. In addition to auditory/visual the app is kinesthetic. The app creates a word search puzzle with the spelling words for each test. The app also allows teachers to track multiple students.

A1 Spelling app Free/ comes with one category- pay for additional categories $.99. There are 150 words in total. The app includes a picture, states the word, and spells it for students who need additional help. Keep board is alphabetical spelling board. Categories include: Animals, numbers, food, fruit, color, body, vegetables and other.

Pre-Primer- 3rd grade
Memory Game Spelling Words $1.99 also can be used on the iPhone- Another way to help children learn to spell. All students love matching games. This app has 600 Dolch words plus the ability to customize word lists. The matching board can be adjusted to accommodate the student. Options include upper or lower case letters and block or cursive letters. The app also fosters memory, concentration, reasoning, and perception.

SImplex-spelling-Free For iPhone and iPad Full version $4.99. Free version has 50 high-frequency words. Paid has over 240 words. Does not have the capability to customize words. The keyboard is an alphabetic keyboard. Vowels are white, consonants are red. Spelling words are spoken and used in a sentence to establish context. A phonics hint feature sounds out each word and provides a list of possible phonograms for each sound.

Special Needs Spelling Apps
ACT-Spell (Accessible Curriculum Tools) $2.99 This app is allows you to customize the number of buttons from one to five for best access for the student. Buttons can be adjusted in size to help promote visual discrimination and fine motor control. Text to speech output. Two background colors to assist with visual orientation.

Build a word easy spelling $2.99 for the iPhone and iPad. This is phonics-based spelling app with a focus on identifying sounds and writing sounds. The advantages for special needs students include:

  • an option to use a black background to reduce distraction
  • no frustration since visual and audio prompts in the Practice Mode lead the child step by step through the correct spelling process
  • wrong letters become obvious with the help of immediate sound feedback heard after tapping a wrong letter
  • repetition of audio prompt helps with hearing and remembering the word and sounds.

Vicki Windman is a special education teacher at Clarkstown High School South.