If “tremendous” was a Dolch sight word then you would find it in Simplex Spelling HD and it would be right at home because this is a tremendous spelling app! The app’s complete title is Simplex Spelling HD-Learn How to Spell Dolch Sight Words with Reverse Phonics. That’s a mouthful but an appropriately complete description of exactly what the app is all about. Simplex takes more than 220 words and helps children learn to spell and read those words.
The app begins with one of the best help features that I’ve ever seen in an educational app. Key words that relate to the app’s features have been turned into a spelling list. Users are presented with the spelling list and the sentences used with these words describe how you use the app. For example, you will be asked to spell the word drag. The sentence you hear is something similar to this, “You can drag a letter from the keyboard to the spelling word.” By the time you get through the help list you’ll have a thorough overview of how to use the app.
Simplex Spelling breaks the spelling words down into separate Dolch lists. During the test each word is spoken aloud and used in a sentence. Users must then tap on the screen’s keyboard (or drag letters) to spell the word. Phonics hints are available if needed. These hints will sound out the word and also provide a list of phonograms for that word. Simplex also provides visual feedback when users place letters in the wrong spot. After a word has been spelled correctly the app gives positive feedback and allows you to move on to the next word. It will track how many times it took you to correctly spell each word. A user stat screen lets parents easily see which words their children have mastered and where they need more practice.
I was absolutely pleased with Simplex Spelling HD. Everything about the app feels like it’s been done in such a way as to build confidence and spelling success. Bravo!
Price when Reviewed: $4.99
This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Seller: Pyxwise Software Inc.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this app for review purposes.