Just when I thought SpellBoard could not get any better… I recently upgraded to the latest version (1.6.1) and have been delighted with all of the new features. In the latest version of PalaSoftware’s SpellBoard the most welcomed additions for my family are the ability to add photos and the new word search feature.
Adding an image to a word makes a visual mental imprint on your child and increases his or her ability to recall the word. I intentionally did not tell my son that I upgraded his SpellBoard software. We have ground rules for iPad use so the boys are not allowed to upgrade or buy apps without adult supervision. I remember hearing my youngest say "cool I have pictures with my words now!” My oldest son is a visual learner so this makes learning new words and the spelling of the word really stick. I am not able to add a photo for every word however most nouns are easy to find on the web.
Who doesn’t like a good word search puzzle? I found my youngest son playing the word search puzzle after he aced the SpellBoard spelling quiz. To find your son learning without being asked (how strange is that?). Needless to say that was one week in which he made a 100% on his in-class spelling test. I don’t make it a habit of asking them to complete the word search puzzles however, two days a week I find them gravitating to it. I played the puzzle a couple times and it’s really fun. The word search is generated from the words you enter into your quiz and are randomized after every successful completion. No additional work for you and a really cool feature!
As a learning tool SpellBoard truly makes a difference. I have seen my sons spelling test scores improve dramatically. Last year prior to SpellBoard we would review the spelling words (when we had the time and usually two days before the test) then ask the boys to sit down and study the words and the proper spelling. After an hour or so we would test their knowledge by conducting an at-home spelling quiz. The at-home results were mixed and I noticed they would forget words in a couple days. The at-home quiz process began to become painful and very time consuming for everyone involved. We really needed something to break the monotony and breathe life into our weekly study sessions and spelling words. The results were mixed and the boys would earn marks in the 70 – 80% range. Maybe it was my teaching style or maybe I am just a bad teacher? I had to find a new way of preparing my digital native children for their weekly spelling test, not to mention there was a ton of other homework to do. After we discovered SpellBoard and incorporated it into our weekly ritual I noticed the boys spelling tests scores improved to consistently 85 – 95% range and on many occasions perfect scores. My sons consistently improve 20% daily until they receive perfect scores from SpellBoard.
The JONES Family weekly spelling ritual:
- Monday:Create Spelling Test – Take Practice & Full Test | Results: 50 – 70%
- Tuesday:Full Test | Results: 80 – 90%
- Wednesday:Full Test | Results: 85 – 100%
- Thursday:Full Test | Results: 90 – 100%
- Class Spelling Test | Results: 90 - 100%
How to add pictures to your spelling test in three easy steps:
Step1. Scroll down to the picture section and tap on the text Touch to Add Picture. (A small dialog will appear) Choose Photo.
Step 2. Tap the Choose Photo box to reveal your iPad Photos.
Step 3. Select the desired image and VOILA!
Note: Before I build a spelling test I download images from Google Images and save them in my photos library.See (downloading images from the web) to learn how.
iPadTipsnTools.com is interested in hearing what you think about SpellBoard (v 1.6.1) and if you noticed any improvement in your child’s scores after incorporating SpellBoard into your weekly spelling test ritual. Let us know by responding at the bottom of this article or taking the SpellBoard poll in the right hand column.
- Study for the Quiz allows children to write and type words to practice spelling before actual quiz.
- Ability to share quizzes via Bluetooth (I create master quiz on my iPad)
- Add spoken word
- Ability to email quiz
- Ability to use historical quizzes for year end
- Add Phrase with word included in sentence
- Ability to add photo
- Word Search feature
- Ability to backup spelling test to iTunes
- Only works in portrait mode
Version Review: 1.6.1
Price: $4.99 U.S. (a bargain)
My reviews of SpellBoard are from personal experience and I do not receive any form of remuneration from PalaSoftware. I hope my review helps you make a decision to purchase. Their support is fast and responsive. If I email they respond (even before I wrote the 1st review). I truly think this is one of the best child friendly effective learning apps in the iTunes Store. Great job PalaSoftware! Let us know if you identify other great learning apps for kids. We would love to share them with our community and maybe write a review.