Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thursday is App Day- Spelling Hero

None of my students generally like to work on spelling. However, I have a new app on my iPad that has changed this sentiment. This week I am writing about Spelling Hero. When I first got Spelling Hero, it was $.99 but good news for anyone who wants it--the price dropped to free just last week.

Spelling hero has several pre-loaded spelling lists but you can also customize lists for specific users. The program allows each user to create their own profile and their own words. Once the words are entered in, Spelling Hero has a "look up" feature that enters in definitions and pronunciations. Additionally, students are able to record their own voice. This feature has definitely motivated some of my more resistant spellers. Spelling hero offers a practice mode and a test mode. When the students practice, they see a string of flashcards that the program sets up for them. When the students move to test mode, they hear the word that is pre-recorded and then they have a keyboard for spelling. The program gives them immediate feedback as to whether they spelled the word correctly. My students with encoding goals have learned how to delete words from their lists when they demonstrate mastery of them and how to add new words. This way they are initiating and engaged in their own learning processes. They are a part of their own assessment and development of goal setting.

For monitoring progress, Spelling Hero contains a progress feature where I can look at students' success rates. From there, I can star specific words or plan for extra practice. This has been a great app for motivating and inspiring students to learn sight words and I have seen struggling spellers make tremendous growth on this program and generalized to their own writing.

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