Saturday, January 22, 2011

Word Magic App Review

Name of App: Word Magic
Age Group: PreK-2
Cost: 0.99
Format: available for iPod and iPad
Rating: 4/5
Company: Anusen

Purpose: Practice beginning, medial and ending sounds

What I like:
  • It's easy to switch between beginning, medial, ending sounds or random by simply touching the correct box at the bottom of the screen.
  • The word read and positive reinforcement voice is that of a child and is enthusiastic and easy to understand.
  • As soon as a correct answer is given the screen quickly changes to the next problem.
  • Being able to select a word length of 3-6 letters.

What the Students Like:
  • Seeing their score.
  • Earning stickers and cupcakes.
  • The positive reinforcement.

What I'd like to see changed:
  • Group digraphs and blends together-child should respond with wh not just w for wheel.
  • Same for medial sounds-put r controlled vowels with the r and group vowel combinations together.
  • When a child chooses the correct answer on the 4th try I'd like to hear "That's correct." not "Awesome!"
  • Incorrect answers on level 2 that are close to the correct answer. I can't think of time a child would ever see "fq" in a word. I'd like to see actual chunks or blends in which the child would be familiar.

How I'll use it in the reading room:
  • I'll put it on 3 letter words for my struggling first graders to practice random sounds. They'll take turns with a partner and use the timing mode of one minute.
  • 1 minute competitions at the end of class.
  • Skill and drill

iPod Touch

Thanks to my building principal I know have 3 iPod touches and a Macbook. Earlier this week we had a snow day and I spent my day finally getting all three touches syncing to the new Macbook and then looking for literacy apps to buy and download. I started with the ones I learned about at NYSCATE and then moved to the iear ning and looked through their reviews and recommendations. I found that very helpful and decided that I should begin writing my own reviews as I begin to use the apps with my students.

I have my students for 30 minutes every day. I begin each class with a short read aloud and I'm thinking I'll start ending each class with a 5 minute app time so the devices get used. Since I don't have enough iPods for everyone, my groups are 4-7 students, they will have to share. I won one ipod touch on Facebook from School Center. I'll have to be on the look out for more give aways so I can try and increase my total to at least 5.