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Literacy Apps

Spelling

Chickens, frogs, and aliens, oh my! These critters and other delightful characters star in these fun interactive apps developed to help young kids practice spelling and vocabulary. You’ll find crosswords, a spelling bee, Boggle-style games, word builders, and more.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

Alpha Writer

Price: $2.99
Grade level: K
Skill: Spelling
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Alpha Writer is a Montessori-style learning app that helps teach kids letter sounds and how to form words by combining different letter sounds. There's a tactile approach to the learning here, as kids can physically manipulate the letters onscreen. They'll hear the sound of each letter as they touch it, and can position them in any order they please to form words. The app has two sections. The first asks kids to spell words after seeing a picture of the word and hearing it spoken. The second section lets kids use letter and images to write their own story. Stories can be saved as photo files on your device.

Bob Books #1 - Reading Magic

Grade level: Pre-K, K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th and above
Skill: Phonics, Spelling
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Bob Books #1-Reading Magic is an educational experience that will teach your young children early phonics. This app teaches the sounds that letters make and how to combine them to make short words. Drag the letters for the given word to the proper place below the picture, while the app sounds out the letters and reads the word aloud. Children's efforts will be rewarded when the black and white screen transforms to color and the drawings become animated.

Bob Books #2 - Reading Magic HD

Price: $3.99
Grade level: Pre-K, K, 1st, 2nd
Skill: Phonics, Spelling
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Bob Books is an interactive book app that uses spelling, repetition, and phonics to build beginning reading skills. Each 12-page book can be played at 4 different difficulty levels — beginning readers drag and drop letters to match words while the app sounds out the letters and reads the word aloud, more advanced readers select letters on their own. Children's efforts are rewarded when the black and white illustration fill with color and become animated.

Bookworm

Price: $2.99
Grade level: 2nd, 3rd, 4th
Skill: Vocabulary, Spelling
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Bookworm is a spelling and vocabulary building word search game. Children link letters left, right, up, and down to build words to feed "Lex" the bookworm. The longer the word the higher the score. The game can be played with or without time limits.

C is for Cow

Price: $0.99
Grade level: Pre-K
Skill: Spelling
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

C Is for Cow is an alphabet game for preschoolers. Each letter of the alphabet corresponds to an animal whose name begin with that letter. Children press the letter to hear it read out loud, another button repeats the letter and says the name of the animal.

Chicktionary

Price: Free
Grade level: 2nd, 3rd, 4th
Skill: Vocabulary, Spelling
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Chicktionary is a chicken themed spelling and vocabulary-building word game. Children create as many words as possible out of seven letters. Completed words can be tapped to view their definition. There are multiple levels and children can choose a timed or untimed mode. *Note: This is a noisy app — incorrect words receive scolding squawks.

Clifford's BE BIG with Words

Price: $0.99
Grade level: K
Skill: Spelling
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Clifford's BE BIG with Words, from PBS Kids, is a spelling app that helps children practice spelling three letter words. Kids are guided toward spelling words by choosing from a selection of letters. Once a word is completed each letter is read out loud. Additionally, each word is pronounced showing kids the connection between sounds, words and their spellings — building an understanding of words through alphabetic and phonemic awareness. No need to worry about spelling mistakes — the app is designed so that whatever letter kids choose will spell a word.

FirstWords Deluxe

Price: $4.99
Grade level: Pre-K, K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd
Skill: Phonics, Spelling
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

FirstWords Deluxe helps kids learn to spell words in five categories with FirstWords Deluxe: Animals, At Home, Colors, Shapes, and Vehicles. Parents can add more categories with in-app purchases. Touching the picture reveals the name of the object. As kids drag and drop letters into boxes to spell the object featured, they can practice sounding out letters with the phonics feature or hear the actual letter names as they're placed — or go all out and turn off the sound. Kids get good spelling practice while working on listening skills and building their vocabulary.

Licking Letters

Price: $1.99
Grade level: Pre-K
Skill: Spelling
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Licking Letters is an app that helps kids practice identifying capital letters and spelling three-letter words. Players, with the help of Hoppy the Frog, complete words by tapping the letters as they move across the screen. Hoppy then licks the letter to add it to the word. The first few rounds have three-letter words and only include the target letters, but the app gradually increases in difficulty. Completing a round earns a coin, which can be used to buy costume items for the frog.

Montessori Crosswords

Price: $2.99
Grade level: Pre-K, K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th and above
Skill: Vocabulary, Spelling
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Montessori Crosswords helps kids develop literacy skills by dragging and dropping letters into a crossword grid to form words that correspond to the given pictures. Young children can drag letters around in the moveable alphabet and practice linking phonetic sounds to letters, while older kids can expand their vocabularies in the higher of three difficulty levels. Crossword levels include simple words with one-sound, words with consonant blend, and words of any complexity.

Pogg

Price: $0.99
Grade level: Pre-K, K
Skill: Spelling
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Pogg is a little green alien that acts out spelled words. There are two modes: pictures and spelling. Picture mode offers children that are not yet spelling an icon of the word, when clicked the word is read out loud, and Pogg performs the word. The spelling mode lets the child freely type words into the "What should Pogg do now?" box, encouraging kids to experiment with spelling basic words, and showing short movie clips of Pogg doing that action — for example, typing "hat" results in a short movie of Pogg putting on a hat). The spelling dictionary offers over 300 word/phrase combinations and the developer plans to release many extra word animations as free upgrades to everybody who purchases the app.

Spelling Bee

Price: $0.99
Grade level: 2nd, 3rd, 4th
Skill: Vocabulary, Spelling
Device: Android, Other

Spelling Bee teaches and tests kids on spelling and vocabulary word skills. After studying a wordlist, children are presented with a definition and an audio prompt of the word. Quiz options include the ability to choose the length (5, 10, or 20 words), level of difficulty (beginner, easy, medium, hard), and whether the quiz should be timed.

TeachMe: 1st Grade

Price: $1.99
Grade level: 1st
Skill: Spelling
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

TeachMe: 1st Grade is an app that focuses on writing, spelling, and math. With this app, children answer questions and solve problems using their own handwriting. The app then reads the answers using a writing recognition engine. If your child needs help, TeachMe: 1st Grade will show them how to write the correct answer including the proper stroke order. Parents can select which subjects display, set difficulty level, choose specific questions, and even review performance history for each subject to check how their child is doing.

TeachMe: Kindergarten

Price: $1.99
Grade level: K
Skill: Spelling
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

TeachMe: Kindergarten focuses on sight words, spelling, addition, and subtraction. Children answer questions and solve problems to earn sticker rewards. TeachMe: Kindergarten's touch-and-drag controls are well designed for 4 and 5-year-olds. Parents can select subjects, difficulty level, and review performance history for each subject.

The Electric Company Wordball!

Price: Free
Grade level: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th
Skill: Phonics, Spelling
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

The Electric Company Wordball is a phonics game that integrates video clips from the TV show to teach reading and spelling. The game consists of two parts: watching a video about a letter sound or letter combination and tapping the "wordballs" with the featured letter or letter combination; then using the collected wordballs to complete words as they move across the screen. The object of the app is to teach lessons about phonics, reading, and spelling.

Word Magic

Price: $0.99
Grade level: K, 1st, 2nd
Skill: Spelling
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Word Magic a basic spelling app. For each word, the game presents a picture illustrating the word and the missing letter or letters has to be guessed. Difficulty options include: missing one letter or two letters, word lengths, upper or lower case letters, and if the missing letter(s) are at the beginning, middle, or end of words. As the game progresses, it provides a running total of right and wrong spellings, provides ongoing positive reinforcement sound effects, and awards prizes as the child progresses.

Word Wagon by Duck Duck Moose

Price: $1.99
Grade level: Pre-K, K, 1st, 2nd
Skill: Phonics, Spelling
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Word Wagon helps kids learn about letters, phonics, and spelling with Word Wagon. Parents and kids can set it to one of four progressively harder levels: letters, phonics, and spelling of short and long words and also to display either upper- or lowercase letters. In the first two levels, kids can match the letters to form the words; in the latter two levels, there is no visual cue, and kids have to arrange the spelling of the word on their own. There is also a nice variety of word topics such as animals and food to choose from. The level of customization makes Word Wagon a good fit for kids at different skill levels.

Wurdle

Price: $1.99
Grade level: 1st, 2nd, 3rd
Skill: Vocabulary, Spelling
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Wurdle, is a crossword style game that helps build reading and spelling skills. The object is to find and trace as many words as possible before the time runs out. The default letter grid size of 4x4 works well for beginners but those wanting a challenge can play on larger boards — up to 8x8. There is also the option of playing a timed or untimed game.

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