Word Wizard – Talking Movable Alphabet & Spelling Tests for Kids By L’Escapadou
By Helen Wagner
Word Wizard is a truly engaging and effective phonics-based app which enables students to practice spelling skills and investigate the relationship between letters and the sounds they make in words. My kids at school love both the free play area and the spelling quiz area! It has become one of their favorite apps. We have been making our own spelling word lists…we have made classroom spelling word lists as well as spelling word lists for articulation/sound production practice. It is great to use for Tier 3 reading intervention, too! I really like that the user can tap each letter in a word and hear the sound it makes, and then put them all together to hear the complete word.
There is a “sister app” called Montessori Crosswords which is also phonics based!
I highly recommend this app!
Overall Rating: 5
Appy Ratings (Appy’s):
- Educational Value: 5
- Entertains/Engages User: 5
- Customization/Settings: 5
- Value for the money: 5
- Ease of Navigation: 5
- Quality of Graphics: 5
- Overall Rating: 5
- Language Arts
- Teaching Tools
- Sight Words
- Baby-Toddler (Age 0-3)
- Pre-School (Age 4-5)
- Lower Grades (Age 6-8)
- Upper Grades (Age 9-10)
Word Wizard is a phonics-based spelling app that allows the user to build and practice words and hear them pronounced in English (choice of American or British pronunciations). It features a moveable alphabet where the user drags letters to a board to build words.
There are two ways to play:
1. Moveable Alphabet: This is an area of free play where the user can play with the alphabet letters and spell any desired word to hear it spoken. Tap on a letter to hear it’s sound. Drag letters to the spelling board to make words. Separate the letters in a word to hear the individual sounds in a word, then put them together to hear the whole word. Since this is a phonics based program, when the letters sh, th, ch are put together, the correct pronunciation for the diagraphs is spoken.
2. Spelling Quizzes: Included in the app are built-in spelling quizzes to practice CVC words, Dolch words, 1000 most frequently used words, numbers, colors, animals, body, clothes, family members, food, sports, nature and shapes. While in this level, the user can click on an icon to hear the targeted word repeated, and can tap on a question mark icon to receive a spelling hint. Additionally, the user can easily customize his/her own words lists! Practice your own spelling words! The app will track progress by providing the number of words spelled with and without hints.
Customization: There are many settings to choose from to set the app to fit your needs. For older students, the phonics can be disabled so that the letter, not the sound it makes, is spoken. There is also a profanity remover option which, when a profane word is spelled, will not pronounce the word….instead, it says “oops”.
Rewards: There are animations between words/quizzes which the user can disable/control if desired.
Parent Zone: Prevents children from accessing contact information, FB, Twitter and App store by requiring the user to answer a math addition problem.
This app has available versions for: French, Spanish, Swedish, German, and Finnish languages.
- While the voice is quite adequate for the app, consider upgrading if improved voicing becomes available.
- Sometimes a word is not recognized. I wonder if there could be an ability for the user to record an unrecognized word? Or record their own spelling words? These are not major issues. Wonderful App for phonics and spelling!!!!!!!!!
Price and Download link
View Description from Developer
➜ “Speak ‘N Spell for the iPad Generation” – The New York Times ➜ Featured by Apple as ‘New and Noteworthy’ for iPad and iPhone, and in ‘Apps For Learning to Write’ & ‘Apps for Kids’ ➜ Editor’s Choice Award for Excellence in Design – Children’s Technology Review ➜ Used in US Schools (17,000 units sold to schools) ➜ More than 80,000 Units Sold
Word Wizard is a unique app that lets kids hear the sounds of letters and words using a talking movable alphabet. Featuring advanced text to speech capabilities, the app can pronounce and spell-check an unlimited number of original words and sentences built using the movable alphabet.
Word Wizard also provides spelling practice with a list of more than 1,400 questions and answers, and the best is that you can add your own words to create any spelling quiz, and track the progress of your kids thanks to detailed reports. _______
★ Accolades and Awards ★
➜ The New York Times “This is an important breakthrough in reading instruction, because it leverages the iPad’s size, powerful speech synthesis abilities and touchscreen, so that every letter can be a building block of phonetically accurate sound”
➜ Apple Featured as ‘New and Noteworthy’ for iPad and iPhone, and in ‘Apps For Learning to Write’ & ‘Apps for Kids’
➜ Children’s Technology Review Editor’s Choice Award for Excellence in Design – 4.8 stars out of 5 – “Turn your iPad into a talking alphabet/language generator – and the perfect tool for a child just starting to experiment with letters and their sounds”
➜ Wired’s GeekDad “This is a fantastic app for young children, right through to children in later elementary school which makes it an app worth having on your iPad.”
➜ theiPhoneMom “This is a terrific educational learning tool for emergent readers. It’s also a fantastic resource for spelling practice.”
➜ BestAppsForKids Editor’s Choice – “This is the perfect app for any child who is learning how to read, or to supplement advanced vocabulary lessons through fifth grade.”
➜ “I love the talking alphabet. (…) The app supports letter recognition, phonological awareness, spelling and self-correction without sacrificing fun. I will certainly recommend it to early educators.” Mary Ellin Logue, Ed.D Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education,University of Maine _______
Check demo on YouTube to understand how this app is unique: http://bit.ly/wordwizardvideo2 _______
➜ Talking Movable Alphabet Activity
★ Pronounce and spell-check any word or number ★ Natural Sounding Voice (two American voices and one British voice) ★ Letter sound (phonic) or name when a letter is touched in the alphabet ★ Alphabetic or Qwerty Keyboard ★ Optional magnetic grid to ease letters placement ★ Uppercase or lowercase letters ★ Keyboard emulation option (dragging letters is then optional) ★ 4 letter sizes available (allowing more or less letters on the board) ★ Voice Transformer (speed,tone) for added fun ★ You can even customize pronunciation of any word
➜ Fun Spelling Quizzes Activity
Word Wizard also features hundreds of fun spelling quizzes using the talking Movable Alphabet. Features of this activity are:
★ 184 word lists of 10 words: Words for beginners, Dolch Words, 1000 most frequently Used Words, body parts,… ★ Create custom Word Lists by entering custom words and sentences, and even share lists ★ User Profiles and Detailed Spelling Test Reports ★ Hints are available if kids do not know how to spell a word ★ Colorful animations are displayed when a word is completed ★ Once a quiz is completed, interactive animations are available as a reward
Word Wizard is a universal application that can be used on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad (without requiring you to purchase it twice). ________