SpellNow Year 2 finds that sweet spot where gameplay intersects with learning. It is a well-organized, easy to use app that teaches children 6-8 years old the connection between sounds (phonics) and spelling. As with the previous app in the SpellNow Series - SpellNow Year 1 - It’s a TOP PICK for Fun Educational Apps.
Available for download via the iTunes App Store - iOS Universal
SpellNow Year 2 is the latest app in the SpellNow series developed by Education Curb Party Ltd. for iOS devices. The user interface is intuitive and easy to follow, with navigation arrows showing how to move between screens. The instructions are clear and presented both orally and visually.
How the App Works-
SpellNow Year 2 includes four terms or units. Each term contains 10 different spelling lists that can be accessed in any order, although they are arranged to go from easier to more difficult.
The words in each list are practiced six different ways:
- Word Jumble- unscramble the letters to make a word
- Word Hide- see the word, then type it from memory
- Word Spin – spin the dial and spell the word that comes up
- Word Spell- type the word from memory
- Word Check- choose the misspelled word and correct it
- Dictation- Write a complete sentence
Hints are available and include repeating the word or using it in a sentence. Each list in Term 1 focuses on a long vowel sound, including the different ways to spell it in real words. Term 2 includes diphthongs (ow, ou, oi, oy), consonant blends (cl, br, spr, str), and regular past tense verbs (-ed). Term 3 shows the different way to create plural nouns (-ies, -ves), r-controlled vowels (ar, er, or), and vowel combinations (oo, ea). Term 4 has examples of contractions, homophones (sea, see) and compound words (toothbrush, handbag).
Many of these skills are taken directly from the Common Core State Standards for first and second grades. Here are some specific examples:
"Know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs" (CCSS-RF.1.3a)
"Know the common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds" (CCSS-RF.1.3c)
"Identify words with inconsistent but common spelling-sound correspondences" (CCSS-RF.2.3e)
When children successfully finish a word list, they can go to Mana Magic, a pinball type video game that awards playing time in exchange for points earned during the learning activities.
What Fun Educational Apps Liked-
Some spelling/phonics apps provide only one or two examples of a spelling rule and expect that children will be able to master that rule. SpellNow Year 2 includes 20 words per list and six different ways to practice these words. With this many chances, even if children make some mistakes, they still have multiple opportunities to "get it right." I also appreciate the way each game addresses different learning styles that children have, whether visual, auditory, or a combination of both.
In a Nutshell-
Education Curb Party has developed a comprehensive program that incorporates spelling into a series of phonics/literacy apps. SpellNow Year 2 takes up where SpellNow Year 1 left off, so if Year 2 seems too difficult, it's easy to go down one level to Year 1. Parents will appreciate the well-organized content, while children will enjoy the age appropriate learning games that feature the antics of cute arctic animals. At Fun Educational Apps, we recognize apps that are both educational and motivational, so we award a TOP PICK to SpellNow Year2.
SpellNow Year 2 is available for download via the iTunes App Store - iOS Universal
RRP - $/€1.99 - £1.79
At the time of this review, SpellNow Year 2 contains no ads or in-app purchases. It also has no links to the Internet or social media. Parents can be confident their children’s privacy is protected when using this app.
Review by Julie Peterson, a speech/language pathologist (SLP), currently working in an school setting with students who have special needs. The goal of her reviews is to provide specific and relevant information for parents so that they can make wise decisions when purchasing educational apps for their children.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.