I’ve mentioned the Simplex Spelling apps on the website before, they are great apps that take a thorough approach to breaking down words and helping children through the spelling process. Simplex Spelling Phonics 2 Syllables was released at the end of May and it focuses on words with more than one syllable. Children will work through more than 650 words that have been divided into 54 lists, broken up into three main categories. You have the following groups: 3 Letter Minimum, Compound Words 1 and Compound Words 2. These groups are organized by spelling patterns and levels of difficulty.
Each of the lists comes with a spelling lesson that teaches a basic concept. So in addition to practicing their spelling children will be learning fundamental spelling rules. The lessons are presented at the beginning of each list and children can revisit them at any time by tapping on a button with a teacher icon that appears underneath the word they are spelling. When they are presented with a new word to spell they’ll hear it spoken and then used in a sentence. At the top of the screen they will see boxes representing the number of letters making up the word. Underneath that will be the letters of the alphabet with the vowels standing out in red. If children know how to spell the word they can tap on the letters or drag them to the appropriate square. When a letter is in the correct spot the box will turn green. If they become stuck there is a hint button that will provide a series of hints.
In order to make sure that I don’t forget any of the features found in Simplex Spelling Phonics 2 Syllables here is a list from the app’s iTunes description:
- Over 650 high frequency spelling words to help build literacy.
- Words are spoken and used in a sentence to establish context and improve vocabulary.
- Introductory spelling list seamlessly leads a student through all of the application’s features.
- 54 instructional lessons teach syllables, phonics, phonograms, and spelling rules.
- A full “reverse phonics” approach that builds phonemic awareness.
- Contextually relevant spelling rule hints that help explain “how to spell” English words.
- Letter by letter feedback system provides feedback while the student is in the process of spelling each word.
- Support for 40 user accounts.
- User stats screen track progress with every word.
- Ability to set the number of times a word must be spelled correctly to become mastered.
- Supports alphabetic and QWERTY keyboard layouts.
- Supports US, UK and Canadian English spelling of words
Now I almost forgot one of my favorite features in the Simplex series – the way they handle the introduction to the app and the explanation of its features. Instead of a regular tutorial, Simplex presents a spelling list that covers the app’s main features. It’s a clever way to familiarize children with what they’ll be doing and the way they’ll be using the app. One last thing to note, unlike other spelling apps this one does not allow you to add in personalized spelling lists. Personally, I think that makes sense when you figure in the lessons and the specialized spelling focus which is not something you get in your average spelling app.
Price when Reviewed: $4.99
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad.Requires iOS 4.0 or later. This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad.
Seller: Pxywise Software Ltd.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this app for review purposes.