Speaking Spell Comprehensive HD
By BANG! Studios
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By customer request, this version teaches words from Preschool all the way through Third Grade -- hundreds of spoken words and sentence clues across five separate levels!
I've always had fond memories of my Speak n Spell from the early 1980s, but there's never been a decent replacement for the iPad until now.
Speaking Spell HD provides not only the familiar keyboard input and voice response of the original Speak 'n' Spell but adds a number of features and enhancements that cannot be found with any other app, like:
- The spoken text is very understandable. We've used top-of-the-line text to speech software to ensure that students will not struggle with Speaking Spell's speech quality.
- A "Hint" button which recites a sentence using the word that the student is asked to spell. The format is standard spelling bee: A sentence, and then the word is repeated
- The word list is taken from actual spelling exercises used by teachers.
- The word list is constantly being added to and enhanced.
- The user interface is incredibly child-friendly. Not only does each letter keypress provide audio feedback of the letter, but the onscreen keys are highlighted and increased in size ... just like the standard iPad keyboard but with bright, easily readable buttons meant just for young students
- The word to be spelled can be repeated at any time, or skipped if the student is having too much difficulty with it
- We're open to suggestions! If there's any enhancements that teachers and/or parents would like to see, we're happy to add them in future releases.
The preschool Level starts students with simple monosyllabic words like CAT, DOG, MOM and DAD to name a few. It's the perfect introduction to spelling!
In kindergarten, spelling words start with basic three letter consonant-vowel-consonant words, and become more complex with spelling skills growing to cover blends. For example, T plus R make the TR sound, such as in TREE. F and R blend to make the FR sound in FROG.
In Grade 1, there are still some easier three-letter words, but more emphasis is placed on four- and five-letter challenges, especially those with common phonetic difficulties at this age group. For example, PLANE (which is differentiated from PLAIN with Speaking Spell's unique sentence pronunciation).
In Grade 2, students are expected to master short-vowel, long-vowel, r- controlled, and consonant-blend patterns correctly. Words using the -ight ending are introduced, including BRIGHT, FLIGHT, and NIGHT, plus a few compound words are incuded in second grade spelling word lists including GRANDFATHER, BEDROOM, and SAILBOAT.
Grade 3 adds more complex spelling challenges. Students learn more compound words such as BIRTHDAY, SOMEWHERE, and YOURSELF. Third grade spelling words include blends such as in AGREE, CHOOSE, and HALF. Words beginning with QU- are introduced, such as QUEEN and QUIT. Third grade spelling words include consonant doubling, as in BERRY, BUTTER, and PRETTY. Third grade spelling students also learn common homophones such as PAIL and PALE. They learn that words ending in Y become plural with the -IES ending, such as the plural of CHERRY, which is CHERRIES.
All in all we're very proud of Speaking Spell HD -- it's the best spelling drill, tutor and edutainment app for spelling on the App Store, in high-resolution to take full advantage of the iPad's capabilities!
What's New in Version 1.1
Smaller app size and fixes for iOS 4.2 compatibility.
Useful app, needs to give correct spelling after errors
This is a good practice tool for students who are near mastery of their spelling words. Oral (out loud) spelling is one of the best practice methods for mastering spelling. In the original Speak n Spell toy ( which I still own and use with students), the machine gives the correct spelling after two errors, thus reducing frustration and limiting practice of incorrect spellings. It then gives you your total score when you complete ten words.
This app currently gives only the admonition "wrong!" as feedback, and if the student does not know the word, they never hear the correct spelling. They simply hear their own misspellings as many times as they misspell the word, and then must give up and "skip" the word in order to continue. This is not helpful for learning.
Please create an update that provides the correct spelling after two tries. Thanks! :)
--D. Bennett, speech and language pathologist
Needs better hint/help function
Overall we really love this app and it's very much what my girlfriend and I have been looking for, for her daughter.
However, what we see as the biggest drawback is the limited amount of help they can get if they get stuck on a word. The hint button will use the word in a sentence, but that is all. We are looking for the app to give some sort of feedback to the user when they are incorrect, other than just telling them they are wrong. Perhaps after a certain number of failures spell the word out, or start giving actual letters in the word, or the number of letters as hints. I'm sure there are other options that could help.
We look forward to a future update to contain these features!
Its been helpful for my kids, but the there needs to be a lot more words added. It repeats words too often. The voice is also hard to understand sometimes. It would be nice to be able to use the bluetooth keyboard to delete letters instead of starting over if the word is spelled wrong.
I also hope that you add more grade levels at least to grade 5.