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Phonics Spelling Dictionary - Biff, Chip and Kipper

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Linked to the extremely popular and well used Oxford Reading Tree, Therapy Box (the developer of the app) have teamed up with OUP (home of the Oxford Reading Tree) to create an excellent addition to the Biff, Chip and Kipper series. The app is not only a dictionary of words but also contains within it the ability to test users on their spellings, create specific spelling lists and help young children continue to learn to read through synthetic phonics.

Teacher Review

This app is linked with the Oxford Reading Tree from OUP so already you would expect it to not only be an extremely well put together app but one that also works well in its aims to help young children read. It certainly doesn’t disappoint in this either. The style of app is very in keeping with the popular Biff, Chip and Kipper books so immediately young children will be engaged with the app through its friendly appearance which are just like one of the books.

On opening the app the user can choose from three different options; Dictionary, Spelling Tests and My Words. There is also an option on this front page to enter the adult menu. On this page it gives further information about a number of different things including what synthetic phonics is and why the app uses this to help young children learn how to read. There is also a tab on this page on how to use the app to get the best out of it for educational purposes. This includes a video showing the app being used and a clear explanation of the each of the different categories that the users can select.

The main content of the app though is where the user will spend most of their time. As you would hope the style and design of the app carries on throughout each page with the familiar look of the Oxford Reading Tree. Within the Dictionary section of the app the user is given the ability to look up letter sounds and have them pronounced correctly enabling them to learn the words. The words are ordered with most common letter sounds higher up and then further down more complex letter sounds such as eer and the long and short oo sounds. Once the user clicks onto each of the sounds they have an example of how the sound can be used i.e. sun for the s sound. Under this there then appears a whole host of words that have that sound, split into the different types and then each can be clicked on so the word can be read out completely.

The next choice in the app is the spelling test option. Once selected the user has a choice of easy, medium or hard words to select from. Once they have chosen the right one they are taken into the spelling test itself. The test consists of the word being read out and then the user typing it correctly onto the keyboard. They can also chose the handwrite it in to the app too if they wish which is a nice addition to the app. Once the test has been completed a score sheet is given to the user to show them how well they have done. If they get more than 3 words correct they earn a sticker. If a word if misspelt more than once then that word automatically goes into the users ‘My Words’ section. This is where the personalisation of the app really comes into its own. Not only do words get prepopulated if they are spelt incorrectly but an adult can also put words into this that the user needs to learn or are specific to their learning. This makes the app ideal for an education setting as educators can highlight specific words they feel need to be worked on or learnt. The ‘My Words’ section can also be accessed from the front page of the app.

Overall this app works really well in helping young people to develop their reading abilities through synthetic phonics. Linked heavily to the Biff, Chip and Kipper books also means users will be familiar to this particular style meaning there is more chance they will want to engage with the content in the app.

Screenshots

  • Phonics Spelling Dictionary - Biff, Chip and Kipper-1Phonics Spelling Dictionary - Biff, Chip and Kipper-2Phonics Spelling Dictionary - Biff, Chip and Kipper-3Phonics Spelling Dictionary - Biff, Chip and Kipper-4Phonics Spelling Dictionary - Biff, Chip and Kipper-5

From the Developer

Phonics Spelling Dictionary app orders words by sounds to help children using synthetic phonics to become proficient readers and spellers. Organising words by sound and breaking them up into coloured sections, the app features fun illustrations and interactive audio feedback throughout to help the user engage as they learn. You can also save words to practice later in your very own My Words section, collect stickers, and test your skills using the spelling test feature.

Search by sound
Search through the dictionary by phoneme using colourful tabs

Take a spelling test
Test your phonics knowledge with our spelling test feature, increasing difficulty as you improve.

Hear words to check your spelling
Tap on words to hear them read aloud to help check on your own spelling and pronunciation.

Collect stickers to track your progress
Collect stickers throughout the app to track your progress and earn rewards for your achievements!

  • Words are grouped by sound, so you can navigate the dictionary using the tabs on the right hand side
  • Tap on words to hear them read aloud
  • Tap on images in the dictionary pages to hear the corresponding word read aloud
  • Use speech recognition to search for words in the dictionary
  • Save words from the dictionary to the ‘My Words’ section, such as words that you find difficult to spell and that you want to practice more
  • View more difficult words in the ‘Common & Tricky Words’ section
  • Take a spelling test of either an ‘easy’, ‘medium’, or ‘hard’ difficulty level
  • Collect stickers throughout the app to signify your achievements
  • Share your certificates over email, save them as an image or print them out
  • View all of your collected stickers in your Sticker Book
  • iOS Switch Access functionality is available to use for special needs users
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