CONCEPT: A spelling app that offers you the freedom to teach with it , test with it and develop understanding of phonic sounds and blends.
DELIVERY: Whereas many phonics based apps can take a game style approach, Word Wizard is more of a teaching tool. The app has two main sections. The first is a wall that letters can be dragged onto. As you move a letter the initial sound is heard. When it is placed with another letter, they blend to sound out the composite string or word. This is perfect for phonic lessons as the students can hear the sounds that digraphs etc make and play with variations such as changing the sound of words when an e is added to the end.
The second section is a testing section within which are many banks of predetermined words for students to try and spell. You can also design your own lists making it great both in class and at home for practising weekly spelling rules and lists.
Though the premise of the app may seem quite simple, the attention to important details is excellent. Want to change the pace or intonation of the spoken sounds? You can. Worried about kids typing in swear words? The app switches them out for the word oops! You can even edit the pronunciations of words to suit dialect via a handy exceptions list. It really is well conceived and delivered.
LIMITATIONS: The lack of shiny bells and whistles or achievements and targets may limit the apps appeal outside of the classroom compared to other more game based apps.
CONCLUSION: just the sort of phonics app I know a lot of people have been looking for and will be able to integrate into their everyday teaching with ease. 5/5
Teaching phonics and phonic blends
SEN reinforcement sessions
Building personalised spelling lists.
Teaching English as a second language