Spellyfish- Short “A” Words is a phonemic awareness app that uses rhyming word families to help preschool children learn to recognize words with short /a/. When your child is ready to move from individual letter sounds to actual words, Spellyfish is a great option. Its clarity of purpose and its dedication to solid principles of reading instruction earn a Top Pick from Fun Educational Apps.Fun Educational Apps TOP PICKS
- gentle and lighthearted characters
- a user interface preschoolers can navigate with little or no assistance
- words that are simple (consonant/vowel/consonant) and grouped into familiar rhyming families, such as –an words, -ad words, and –ag words
- sentence examples that put the words into context
- a reasonable amount of repetition
- game settings that can be customized for your child’s success
- a cumulative review at the end
The object of the game is to help Spellyfish by choosing the three letters that make each word. He says the word, and then breaks it down into the three sounds. This helps children understand how sound blending works. Spellyfish also uses the word in a simple sentence; this aids in comprehension. Feedback is immediate, and if the arrangement is incorrect, your child can go back and try again.
I look at Spellyfish- Short “A” Words, and I see an app that has been designed by someone who knows how to teach beginning readers. Unlike other beginner apps, it doesn’t try to introduce too many different vowels, which only leads to confusion. The short /a/ has a distinctive sound that makes it the easiest vowel to teach. The secret to good reading instruction is to build confidence using small steps.
This app has the ability to store performance data for up to forty users, a valuable feature in an educational setting. It also offers tips for parents, and a glossary of relevant terms parents may not know, including phonological awareness and phonogram.
Spellyfish- Short “A” Words helps lay a solid foundation for phonemic awareness, the ability to take individual sounds and blend them together into words. Pyxwise offers many other spelling and phonics apps in their Simplex Spelling series. Fun Educational Apps recognizes Spellyfish- Short “A” Words with its latest Top Pick in the category of beginning reading apps.
Spellyfish- Short “A” Words is availabe for downlado via the iTunes App Store - iOS Universal
FREE for APPfriday Nov. 22 -- RRP - $0.99/£0.69/€0.89
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At the time of this review, Spellyfish provides a safe, secure environment, with no access to social media and no ads. The app does, however, have a link to the App Store, which requires answering a question before access is granted. Performance results can be emailed to parents.
COPPA Compliant -- http://www.pyxwise.com/privacypolicy.html
Julie Peterson is a speech/language pathologist (SLP) currently working in a school setting, serving children with special needs ages 6-14.
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