Spellyfish Short A Words is a universal app by Pyxwise Software, the developers of the Simplex Spelling apps. Spellyfish is designed for 4-6 year-old children, and is aligned with US Kindergarten Common Core Standards. It works on consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words that contain the short /a/ sound. It has a lot of customization options including: qwerty or ABC keyboard, upper or lowercase letters, show or hide scores, phonics or letter names, how many correct attempts for a word to be “mastered’ (1-10), sound effect volume and narration volume.
Spellyfish has many characteristics in common with the Simplex Spelling apps but has a fun underwater theme and appealing graphics to suit its younger target audience. Spellyfish the jellyfish is the child’s guide through the app, first he takes them through an introductory lesson where they learn how to use the app and practice how to answer questions and get hints. As well as the introductory lesson the app contains 6 regular lessons and 2 review lessons. Each of the 6 lessons contains 5 three-letter words based on a common theme e.g. ending with _ag or starting with s__. The review lessons contain six words each, and consist of a mixture of words from the previous lessons.
As the lesson starts Spellyfish explains what theme of the lesson will be, then swims along the seafloor to his underwater spelling spot. For each word Spellyfish says the word on its own and in a sentence, and a picture illustrating the word appears in a thought bubble beside him.
Spellyfish swims beside a board containing 3 red seashells, as the child types the letters they appear on the board and the shells change color to indicate if they are right or wrong. Red shells indicate a letter not in that word, green shells show a correct letter and blue shells indicate a letter than is in the wrong place. The child can drag the blue letters into the right spot and remove red letters with the backspace key.
If the child touches the thought bubble Spellyfish will say the word and sentence again. If they need hints touching the yellow starfish will make red starfishes appear under each shell the child can just touch the starfish to get hints for that letters they need help with e.g. JAM the possibilities for the first letter are J, G, DGE. Once the child has successfully spelled the word Spellyfish sounds it out and repeats the word.
Parents and teachers can keep track of how their children are doing – for each word list they can see which words have been mastered, or by sliding a switch see how many times they have attempted each word and how many times it has been correct. The app allows up to 40 user accounts and results can be emailed.
Spellyfish works on important pre-reading skills- phonological and phonemic awareness, sound blending, rhyming, recognizing lower and uppercase letters as well as keyboard skills. As well as being suitable for Kindergarten students; the audio and visual cues, large keyboard (with vowels color-coded) and variable hint system make it a great app for Special Needs children. I have been using this app with my six-year-old daughter who is just starting first grade (but still working on mastering these words) and she really enjoys using it to work on her spelling and reading skills. As she has been struggling with learning to read it was really reassuring to see her confidently sounding out words and working out how to spell them with Spellyfish as her guide. This is a really well-done app and I’d love to see more apps in this series covering more word groups for beginning readers. The one thing that would be nice to see added is a reward system to keep the young children coming back to practice, maybe collecting underwater themed stickers.
Overall, a great app for beginning readers, Spellyfish has a cute underwater theme, fun sound effects and engaging characters. It introduces children to spelling and reading 30 cvc words such as cat, rag, Sam, pat and van. It is very customizable, tracks multiple users, is great for Special Needs children and costs only 99c, highly recommended ! A must-have app for Kindergarten students.
– Does not share any data.
– Does not track your child’s location.
– Does not contain In-App purchases.
– Does not contain links to social media.
– Does not contain push notifications.
– Contains in app links to view a safe enclosed version of the developer’s website for additional information, support and teaching tips.
– Contains child protected links that allow you to : “email the developer questions” and to rate the app.
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.
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Price: $4.99 USD
A comprehensive and fun space-themed math learning and skill app for kids and teachers!