SpellingCity

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Engaging spelling app is a teacher's dream.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

It's easy for kids to access and figure out SpellingCity's in-app sample spelling lists and games. However, young kids may find it tricky to maneuver through the app's interface to locate web-based spelling lists and activities. Once there, though, kids can search for lists saved to their teachers' or parents' SpellingCity web account. 

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

Any inappropriate words in spelling lists created on the SpellingCity website are filtered out and are not accessible to kids.

Consumerism

The app is free and has no advertising. It works in partnership with the SpellingCity website, where parents and teachers can create word lists for kids to practice and study on the website or app. Parents and teachers can upgrade their SpellingCity.com account to a Premium membership, which includes enhanced features like individual student logins, student data tracking, and premium games and activities. Premium accounts are $29.99 per year for a family and $49.99 per year for a single classroom.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that SpellingCity is a companion app for the website www.spellingcity.com, where teachers and parents can create customized word lists to help kids improve spelling, vocabulary, and grammar. The app has a lot of flexibility making it helpful for kids who need alternative ways to learn how to spell. It also has an audio component that can help kids who have difficulty comprehending words and spoken language. SpellingCity is designed for kids in grades K-12, but getting started and navigating the app will be tricky for younger users who are just learning to read. It's most helpful when kids can access a web-based SpellingCity word list customized by a parent or teacher in order to practice words they're studying at home or school.

 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • reading
  • spelling
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making

Self-Direction

  • effort
  • identifying strengths and weaknesses

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The interface is colorful and appealing, and the games are engaging for kids from kindergarten through high school.

Learning Approach

Kids can see and hear words from their lists and practice them by rote or layered into fun games. The app tracks activity results and gives kids scores (but unfortunately, no summary of which words kids missed).

Support

There's a support section, but it lacks instructions or a video guide for using the app. There's a link to a YouTube video overview of SpellingCity's companion website, which is a roundabout way to offer help.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • reading
  • spelling
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making

Self-Direction

  • effort
  • identifying strengths and weaknesses

Kids can learn spelling and improve their vocabulary and grammar through SpellingCity's word lists and activities. Kids can also listen to pre-recorded audio playback for each word and hear how it's used in a context-rich sentence. The in-app sample lists include math and science words, compound words, sound-alike words, analogies, and prefix/suffix words. SpellingCity is an engaging app that gives kids customized, relevant spelling and vocab activities. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Kim Alessi

Kids say

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What's it about?

Kids can choose a spelling list from the 10 sample lists or search for a list by username, teacher name, parent name, or school zip code. Once they pick a list, kids can choose one of six activities including hangman, matching, sentence unscramble, and a spelling test. The app is best if used in partnership with a parent or teacher's SpellingCity web account. If a parent or teacher has a Premium account, kids can login with a username and password and the app will keep records of their performance on the activities.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

SpellingCity is a great assessment tool, particularly for classroom teachers and homeschooling parents. Even if kids don't have access to a student login for SpellingCity, the app's engaging and colorful interface draws them in and offers fun ways to build spelling, vocabulary, and grammar skills. The pre-recorded audio playback reinforces learning and custom spelling lists motivate learners with words that are relevant (for teaching specific subjects or to learn various spellings of a root word, for instance).

It's important to note that the app is meant for student use only; there's no teacher or parent login available in the app. In addition, kids and parents can't use SpellingCity to make their own spelling lists -- this has to be done on the website. And in order for the app to save any learning data, kids must have access to a student login, which is only available if a parent or teacher has a Premium membership.

Families can talk about...

  • Use your kids' spelling words in everyday life -- around the home, on the way to school, at the grocery store, in conversations over the dinner table.

  • Reinforce learning by asking your kids to write out each spelling word on paper. Extend learning by helping them write a complete sentence for each spelling word.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:July 30, 2012
Category:Education
Size:19.80 MB
Publisher:SpellingCity
Version:1.0.001
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later; Android 2.2 and up

This review of SpellingCity was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Educator and Parent Written byinfolibrarian October 12, 2012
 
LEARNING

How to practice spelling without all the arguing!!

If your child struggles with writing the spelling words to practice, this is the tool for your child! I use the website to type in his spelling list each week and this new app has already saved me time! He can practice the words, have them spelled out to him, test himself and get immediate feedback on how he is doing. I don't need to correct him fifty times!! He loves any chance to use my iPad and once he gets all the words correct he may play his choice of games! This has cut down the disagreements and added to the fun factor for spelling.
Educator and Parent Written bycjwteach September 18, 2014
 
LEARNING

VocabularySpellingCity Helps Kids Learn

I have used VocabularySpellingCity with the students in my classroom for over five years. In fact, my entire school now has premium memberships for every teacher. Students take their weekly spelling tests online after practicing their words by playing the games at home and at school. They love the iPad app. Each child has his/her own username and password, so he/she has direct access to the site from any internet abled device. I was so impressed with the site and how it affected student learning that I shared it through various social media platforms. I am now compensated to work with VocabularySpellingCity after school as a social media consultant.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Educator and Parent Written bylil'mommas September 20, 2014
 
LEARNING

Great Asset to any education

SpellingCity.com is a must in every child's education. Using fun games to help your child learn more and practice spelling and vocabulary. I am amazed at all the list that are already available on the site but then you can add your own list, too. What more can a educator want?
What other families should know
Easy to play/use

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