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SpellNow Level 5 AU

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An app that utilises gamification to help students improve their spelling abilities

Teacher Review

This app has been developed as part of a series by Education Curb that contains levels 1 through 6 with the apps all sharing the same functionality. Each of the apps is different in that they are aimed at increasingly older students as you move through them. However, a user does not have to use the lower levelled apps to be able to access this app. Each of the apps follow the same design and set up so if a student were to use each of the apps in a progressive way then they would certainly be familiar with accessing the content and how to go about using the app to the best of its ability. That being said the usability of app is extremely simple to engage with so you certainly wouldn’t need prior knowledge of the app to use it well. One comment I would make though is that the look and usability is the same in this app (aimed at older children) as it is in the other apps (aimed at younger children). I’m therefore not necessarily sure an older student coming to this style and design would engage in it as much bearing in mind how geared towards younger users the other apps are.  
 
Once in the app the user has the option of a couple of different things but this depends on whether they have a subscription or not. If a user does not have a subscription then they can use the trial part of the app. This gives the user access to the six games that are used through the app with words picked specifically for the free part of the app. However, if a user does have a subscription then they are able to all the content. This is organised via 4 separate terms and then further sub-divided into ten different topics. The topics cover a range of different areas that are centred on helping young people learn how to spell. Before the user selects a topic to cover they have the option of finding out a little more information such as an explanation of that topic and the word list that is used. This means that a user can pick the content they desire depending on what areas they wish to improve upon. It also means that if this is being used in an educational setting the teacher can direct students to specific topics and word lists and personalise the learning specifically to the individual child. However a user may wish to simply work their way through each of the terms and the topics and this is something that the app also allows.
 
Once a user has picked a topic that they wish to work on then they can access the six different games that help them to learn the words. These games are the same for each of the topics, building a sense of familiarity within the app encouraging users to feel confident as they move through the app. The games have also been developed to allow a wide variety of learning types to be catered for. Therefore if a user knows they learn best from one of the games as they use the app they may just use that game in each topic. All these little things within the app help to personalise the learning for each individual, thinking about how they learn and also simply how they might want to access the app. They can certainly either ‘dip in and out’ of the app or use it for long periods at a time. Within the games there is a competitive element where depending on how well they do they receive a gold, silver or bronze medal. This works really well at encouraging users to ‘better’ their previous score and keeps them coming back to app. It is also a useful way of tracking their progress and their competence if this is being used in an educational setting. To further personalise the learning to that of the individual there is the ability within the games to have words repeated or a sentence given to help with the context of the word. This is again a really good way of helping the users access the content in whichever way is going to help them learn the most. 
 
Overall this is good app that has been well developed to encourage young people to learn strategies and improve their spelling competence. 

Screenshots

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From the Developer

SpellNow Level 5 spells F-U-N!
This app transforms the way year 5 students develop spelling skills. We have gamified the learning experience so that your digital native has fun while mastering their spelling. Students are transported to an underwater world, full of fun and quirky creatures. Your child will love SpellNow Level 5 as it boosts their spelling achievement and confidence!

Unlike other spelling programs, SpellNow Level 5 delivers a truly personalised learning experience that targets each student’s learning needs. With a year’s worth of work, this app offers two distinct learning environments – ‘Open Road’ and ‘My Journey’. ‘Open Road’ allows students to freely navigate through 40 spelling lists across four school terms, while ‘My Journey’ features our unique adaptive learning engine to automatically detect students’ skill gaps before issuing them with a personalised learning pathway. Students are rewarded at each milestone, with special surprises along the way!

Written by experienced teachers, SpellNow Level 5 is aligned to the year 5 Australian Curriculum for English and provides students with the essential building blocks of spelling. It targets students in the transitional and complex stages of spelling, and helps them make the spelling-meaning connection that is necessary to become a good speller. Each spelling list is organised according to letter-sound patterns and word family groupings so students can make sense of the mechanics of spelling. Lists range from frequently used words with simple spelling patterns, to less frequently used words with difficult spelling patterns.

With SpellNow Level 5, students can work on their spelling all year around! There’s a bank of over 800 words, with each word used in a sentence to aid students’ understanding and help develop their vocabulary skills. SpellNow Level 5 covers a comprehensive range of spelling skills, such as, words ending (-ed), prefixes (mis-, un-, dis-, in-, non-, di-, dia-, de-, semi-, multi-, peri-, circ-, trans-, inter-, out-, super-, diff-, dis-, im-, il-, ig-, ir-, in-, non-, pre-, uni-, bi- and tri-), suffixes (-let, -ling, -ian, -ship, -hood, -ment, -ive, -ish, -ways, -wards, -al, -ar, -en, -n, -ar, -er, -or, -ary, -ery, -ory, -ly, -y, -ty, -ily, -able, -ible, -ous and –eous), comparative suffixes (-ful, -less, -ness and –ment), silent letters, word endings (-le, -el, -il and –al), i before e except after c, ei exceptions, diphthongs (au, aw, al, all and our), shun words, homophones, homographs, digraphs (gh, ph and qu), comparatives and superlatives, word endings final c, complex consonants (ph and qu), hard and soft c and g, connectives (transition words), visually similar words, difficult words, open and closed syllables, complex compound words and uncommon plurals, words from other languages, Latin stems (brevis, cedo, mal, meter, bene and ped).

Six interactive spelling games cater to different learning styles – visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. Each spelling game stimulates students’ sensory skills by transporting them to a fun and vibrant environment where they interact with quirky characters. SpellNow Level 5 is a totally interactive and personalised learning experience that is fun and rewarding. Help your child begin their journey to spelling mastery NOW!

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