I was so excited when I saw Smarty Ears was looking for bloggers to review their new app, Smarty Spell. I LOVE the Smarty Ears apps for speech and language therapy and use many of them in my therapy sessions each day. I was even more excited because this one seemed more geared towards teachers with the spelling theme. I don't work on spelling with my speech kiddos (there may be SLPs that do, I just don't have any kiddos on my caseload with spelling goals). So, when I reviewed this app I looked at it purely from a teacher stand point. First, the price of the app is $3.99 and is available in the iTunes App Store. I think the price is definitely fair.
Here's what the icon looks like. Such a smart little hippo!
Here is the opening screen. Very easy to navigate and begin using right away,
Setting up players is super easy too. You simply put in a name and add an avatar or a picture. I choose an avatar. I like that it doesn't ask for a birthday. Many of the other Smarty Ears apps ask for birthdays and I usually don't have the birthday right in front of me and I don't like to put that much patient information into an app. I am super cautious about HIPAA!
Here's the page of spelling lists to choose from. I played around with the custom lists so you'll see my short /a/ list I began creating. I would really like to see pre-loaded lists by phonics pattern. Whenever I taught spelling in the classroom we always went by phonics pattern.
Here's what the actual spelling page looks like. Very clean and simple. I like the letter tiles for kiddos that struggle with spelling but to use this app with the on grade level or advanced kiddos I'd like a keyboard instead of the letter tiles to make it more challenging or as close to a real spelling situation as possible.
Here's a breakdown of what I believe are the strengths of the app and a few wishes I'd like to see in the future of the app. : )
In the end I would recommend this app for struggling spellers in the classroom but not with my class as a whole. It would a great app to include in an RTI plan. With a few updates I think it could definitely be a whole class option to use instead of the traditional spelling test on Fridays!
*Please note I was not paid for my review of this app but I was given the app for free to review.*