For Teachers

For Parents

DoodleSpell

Master primary spelling

Price: Android - Free iPhone/iPad - Free

Teacher Overview

Building upon the solid foundation of their DoodleMaths app, its developers have applied the same model to learning spelling.  This has resulted in DoodleSpell which is effective at identifying an individual's strengths and weaknesses and offering many ways to practise spelling in short daily sessions.

Teacher Review

A piece of writing, however imaginative or well constructed, will always be defined by any incorrect spelling of words contained within it.  Mastering spelling is achieved by a combination of learning the many different rules in English spelling and memorising the exceptions, of which there are also many.  This can only be done by continued practice and revision.

Initially, DoodleSpelling needs to establish a baseline by which to understand the user's ability.  Once this is done, by completing a few sessions with the app, the learning truly begins.  Here children undertake their daily task and can then use, if they wish, the revision and other sections of the app.

As spelling questions cannot be set in a written format without giving the game away, apps often struggle with how to do so.  Pictures can be used, missing words in sentences are another option, and the spoken word is a further way.  Apps that choose the first two alone often struggle with maintaining clarity as learners identify words that can be correctly used but have not been considered by the writer of the question.  Only by combining questions with a spoken facility can clarity be maintained and that is what DoodleSpell has done.  

When the app reads out the instructions, questions, and hints it does so using the device's built-in speech synthesis.  This is the only way that the app could have such an extensive array of questions and still be able to read them out.  Recording each word and sentence would make the app enormous and, no doubt, prohibitively expensive.  

For the most part, the synthesis works well.  It has the usual limitation of sometimes using a tone or inflection that does not quite suit the spoken sentence.  It also struggles with a small selection of words.  For example, on iOS devices, those ending in "ual", such as "visual" are pronounced strangely, and "anticlockwise" is understandable but the emphasis on the syllables is not where most speakers of English would place them.  The ability to hear a word in an appropriate sentence clears any confusion and these rare occurrences where it is not perfect won't really harm the learning experience - besides it is not a weakness of the app but of the device's own features.

DoodleSpell has a large collection of words that it teaches.  These are well chosen to teach, test, and revise various categories of words.  It pays attention to word parts such as prefixes and suffixes and often phrases questions to push children to consider words of opposite and similar meanings.  They will also be challenged to break words into syllables.

There is an impressive array of question types.  Far more so than on other spelling apps.  Learners' interest is maintained by typing words, constructing words from letter tiles, picking out words from grids, slashing them into syllables and many others.  These prompt different ways of thinking about the spellings of words and reinforce what children have learned.

There are a couple of bonus options such as the inclusion of a simple drawing suite.  More closely linked to the main focus of the app is a collection of mini-games that are built around word spellings.  One follows the hangman format and the other is the similarly popular format of picking out as many words as possible from a 4x4 grid of letters.  The latter one is actually quite a fun challenge for people of all ages and can be a way for children and adults to have some good-natured competition as they strive for the highest score.

Assuming you choose to allow it,  the app will prompt children at a set time each day to engage with it.  The app's designers recommend it is used daily for short sessions so this notification could be incorporated into a child's daily routine.

The app's tracking facility is detailed and useful.  It lists accomplishments as well as how and when the app was used.  Learners and parents can easily look at these, and if they choose, make it available to teachers.  If a link is made between a learner's account in this app and the school, they can also compete and communicate with their school friends.

There are many apps that claim to help children improve their spelling but DoodleSpell rises above them with its variety of questions, useful support mechanisms, and well-designed approach to enabling learning and revision.

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Teacher Certification

Teacher Rating for the appTeacher Rating

App Advertising or In-App PurchasesSafeguarding

In-App Purchases - Yes

In-App Advertising - No

Screenshots

  • DoodleSpell App - 1DoodleSpell App - 2DoodleSpell App - 3DoodleSpell App - 4DoodleSpell App - 5

Developer Description

DoodleSpell builds the spelling confidence of your 5-11 year old with a work programme tailored to their strengths and weaknesses. Using Proxima™, the same award-winning technology that powers DoodleMaths and DoodleEnglish, progression in spelling is guaranteed.

Parents: with every question answered, Proxima™ learns more about each student’s understanding, building a work programme to improve their ability and confidence. Fully curriculum-aligned for KS1 and KS2, the programme is the perfect way to catch-up or get ahead in English. You can track your student's progress and help motivate them every step of the way through the Parent Dashboard – our online analytics and tracking hub. DoodleSpell is the low-cost, high-impact alternative to English tuition.

Teachers: move beyond "Look, Cover, Write, Check"! With DoodleSpell, our clever technology will construct a personalised spelling program for each individual child in your class, based around their own strengths and weaknesses. If you want to set specific word lists, you can create these through the teacher dashboard and they will appear in the app, enabling children to immerse themselves in learning them through a huge range of different question styles.

A subscription to DoodleSpell also gives you full access to DoodleEnglish.

For more information or support visit www.doodleenglish.com/faq-for-parents/.

PLEASE NOTE
You will need a subscription in order to get access to the premium version of DoodleSpell (unlimited use of the app; full access to work programs; online parent dashboards; strength and weakness analysis; email reports; etc.). Your subscription will also allow you full access to DoodleEnglish – find out more at www.doodleenglish.com.

There are three types of subscription available:
One-month subscription per student – £5.99
Annual subscription for per student – £55.99
Lifetime subscription for per student – £169.99

The one-month subscription will be automatically renewed unless auto-renew is turned off at least 24 hours before the end of the current payment period.

Your iTunes account will be automatically charged at the same price for renewal within the 24 hour period prior to the end of the current payment period unless you change your subscription preferences in your iTunes account settings.

When a subscription is cancelled, access to DoodleSpell work programmes and features will expire at the end of the current payment period.

Lifetime subscriptions apply to the named student only. Lifetime subscriptions are not transferable between users.

Our privacy policy can be found here: www.doodleenglish.com/privacy-policy
Our terms and conditions are here: www.doodleenglish.com/terms-and-conditions

For more information about the improvements students make in our studies with schools, or if you are a teacher, visit our website.

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