A. Instruction - 6.5
B. Design - 8.3
C. Engagement - 6.3
Build A Word Express: A Spelling and Phonics App
Summary : A Phonetic Way to Learning Spelling
Build A Word Express teaches users letter sounds and how to spell simple words. When launched, users can choose the Learn, Practice, Test, or Games option. The Learn option presents users with digital cards that contain single letters and letter blends. Additionally, users are presented with a word and blanks for spelling the word using the letters. Build A Word then phonetically pronounces the word, and users are to drag the letters into the provided blanks to correctly spell the word. As users drag the blanks, Build A Word pronounces the sound that the letters make. The Practice option is similar to the Learn option, with the difference being that Build A Word does not phonetically pronounce the word, but it still shows the word to be spelled. The Test option pronounces a word non-phonetically to spell and users are to drag the letters into the blanks to spell it correctly. After users complete a test, they are provided a performance report. The Game option contains a variety of activities that assist users in spelling words and learning letter sounds.
Please note: Only a limited number of words and letters can be accessed for free. Users will need to make in-app purchases for the remainder of the app’s content.
- Teachers can allow students time to independently engage the practice exercises in this app. Afterward, teachers can review the content students engage by asking: (1) What letters did you see? (2) What sounds did those letters make? (3) What words were made using those letters? Students can respond to these questions orally or in writing.
- Instead of a traditional paper-and-pencil spelling test, teachers can have students complete a spelling test using the Test option in this app. When students finish, they can take a screen shot of their performance report and email it to their teacher for grading.
- Teachers can assess whether the skills learned from this app transfer. To do so, teachers can write the different letters and letter blends on a board and ask students to pronounce the sounds they make. Next, they can ask students to name different words that are formed with those letters. Students can respond by orally naming the words or writing the words.
- For any of the activities, teachers can have students pick a word they spelled and draw a picture to represent the word and also use it in a sentence. Students can use an Artwork Production app to do so or complete the activity on paper. After students produce their representation of the word, teachers can hang up their work in the classroom.
- Once students are familiar with this app and its functionalities, teachers can bring in letter tiles from a Scrabble game or let students cut out paper letter tiles. Next, teachers can put students in pairs, and one student can have the letter tiles and the other student a word bank. The student with the word bank can pronounce a word and the other student will have to spell the word correctly using the tiles. After the student spells the word, the other student who read it can indicate if the word was or was not spelled correctly. The students can continue this process until all the words in the bank have been spelled and then they can swap roles.