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App reviews for "Spellyfish - Short A Words (v1.0.0)" [text]

 

Spellyfish - Short A Words (v1.0.0) [text]

App description: Spellyfish teaches students phonological and phonemic awareness while learning how to spell consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words that contain the letter 'A' and the short /a/ sound. It is aligned with the US Common Core Standards for building foundational skills in reading for Kindergarten. Word lists are organized by rhymes(rimes) and onsets.

iTunes Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spellyfish-short-a-words/id685148980?mt=8

iDevices used for the reviews: iPad2 - iPad3 - iPhone3GS - iPhone5

Total reviews: 20

Developer: Craig W.

Chris L.

Rating  
What I liked There were many functions of the app, "Spellyfish- Short A Words," that I liked. First if all, the instructions are very clear for small children to comprehend. It does not require the user to initially be able to read, which is a key function of any app teaching reading skills. Another feature I especially love about this app is that you can track your progress and can tell parents whether their children are truly improving by using this app.


Improvements On the other hand, I did see many opportunities for improvement in this app. First of all, I wish parents could be able to create their own customizable lessons- this could help kids who have spelling tests in elementary school and need to study. Another improvement I wish to see implemented would be some sort of version for older kids (maybe dislexic or autistic kids) that would not have appear to be made for "Babies" because they would not take the app seriously.


General review All in all, I really enjoyed reveiwing this app because I always love to see apps that teach skills. This app could really make a difference in some peoples' lives whether it be the child's life, or even the parent's life. Although there is some room for improvement, I believe this app has established a strong base to improve upon such as adding features for older kids and allowing parents to create their own lessons

Kerry E.

Rating  
What I liked I think this is a great app for helping with letter recognition, lowercase letters and spelling. My older daughter, who is six, always wants to write in capital letters, and this will help her learn the lowercase alphabet, which is very necessary in school. The hints are very helpful, and my daughters really liked how the octopus glowed when they got the word correct.


Improvements Once my six-year-old was in the actual lesson, she did fine. However, adding players and navigating the menu are a little bit too difficult for the children to master. My four-year-old was totally lost in the lessons. She was just randomly tapping buttons. I need to familiarize her with the keyboard, and then I think this app will be very helpful for her. Also, I do wish that the app came with more letters and sounds besides just "a" for the price.


General review Overall, my six-year-old did very well with the lessons, and even commented that they were too easy. She may think that, but I think this app affords her wonderful practice, both with spelling and learning and *knowing* her lowercase letters. The app was beyond the grasp of my almost 5-year-old, but once she learns her letters better and knows their locations on the keyboard, I think this will be a great app for her. Well done!

Frances A.

Rating  
What I liked I think Spellyfish - Short A Words is an amazing app. That is extremely user-friendly and has a nice ease of use for children. Children quickly took to the app playing and having fun. I absolutely love the use of the jellyfish as an animation that is friendly children. I also like that whenever a child gets an answer correct, there was a positive reinforcement such as the jellyfish glow and says "fantastic". I love that the app teaches children in a word family/rhyming order. Each time a child finishes a list it tells them how many words they got correct, then they go to the next list of words


Improvements What I would like to see in a future version:
- I would like to see more than A words concentrated on. This app has such amazing potential I would like to see more to it. (Unless this is one of a series of apps to come)
- When recording data, I would like to be able to choose how many times it records instead of just not recording or recording out of 10 trials. I would like like to be able to fit it to all of the children that I work with. Some out of 5 trials would be more appropriate for them.


General review Overall, I think Spellyfish is absolutely amazing fun and engaging app. In my opinion it is an essential app to have if you are an educator, parent or professional especially since this app can be used by 40 users at a time! This app will definitely help your children to increase their Sight Words knowledge, teach phonological awareness and have children learning their CVC words at an amazing rate.

mandy N.

Rating  
What I liked I really like how they say the whole sentence for the word along with pictures before they try to type out the word. The pictures in the app are wonderfully done and are very inviting for children. The options this app have are wonderful in that you can choose the keyboard and upper/lower case letters as well.


Improvements I would love to see in the future more words added or where you can insert your own words for a more extensive app. I would really like to see future apps that involve more then just "A" words. This would really make a great app for older children learning to spell words that would be on their spelling lists.


General review I really like this app for beginning spelling. I do wish it moved beyond just "A" words but defiantly gets your child started on spelling. The scenery is wonderful in this app and the pictures that go with the sentences are really great to show your child what the word means :)

Jonathan R.

Rating  
What I liked This is a great app for learning about the vowel sounds for "a". It has many examples and different settings to alter the difficulty. Its great that it has illustrations paired with the words to add some additional help. It is very easy to tailor the app to any child's ability.


Improvements I would like to see additional vowel sounds covered. If this cannot be done for free as an update then either as an in-app purchase or by downloading another application entirely. That option would be unfortunate as it would cost more money. Other than that it is a great application for learning about "a".


General review This is a great app for learning about the vowel sounds for "a". It has many examples and different settings to alter the difficulty. Its great that it has illustrations paired with the words to add some additional help. The only downside is that it only covers "a".

melissa r.

Rating  
What I liked Great concept with friendly narration and cute graphics. Loved the incorporation of qwerty keyboard and teaching students to become familiar with layout and additionals keys such as backspace. Ability to modify the settings is fantastic. Useful that child can re-enter app exactly where they left off last time.


Improvements The letter sounds was a bit unclear. Within the introduction itself, the n didn't sound like an n to me or any member of my family. Feel the words are slightly too complex for the kindergarten age group (ie sag is unusual) and the expectation of them to remember all of the functions may be a little tricky ie how to get a reminder, mover letters etc.


General review All in all a great concept and love the character and the graphics. Feel it needs some minor improvement before it would be regularly used and enjoyed by my kindergarten aged child. However, with a few tweaks it would be absolutely fantastic and in a series with other letter sounds etc this would become an amazing educational tool for parents and educators alike.

Marta S.

Rating  
What I liked We liked the thoroughness of what words were there to spell. Great to break them down into similar endings and beginnings. The flow of the game-play was good - nice layout. Appreciated the qwerty keyboard and not only presenting the letters that are part of the word. Particularly liked the drop-down settings, info etc. . . area for the content (student tracking) and graphics. This graphic style would do well throughout the app. Liked the rocks as a background. Liked that there were sets of words. Great letter sounds. Nice to have context sentences (except the "sag" sentence and image!)


Improvements On the main page, the word selection box is clumsy and seems out of place graphically and functionally. The font does not work with the rest of the playful under-the-sea theme. Not that it should be really wacky, but this is too small and close together making it hard to read. Having the word-type selection be in a generic sliding table form does not work here. Try more graphical. Mr. Spellyfish's voice is too annoying, just a nice teacher sounding voice would be great. Try sound effects for the watery scene. The transition length is too long between words when swimming over to next scene.


General review A good app to actually teach spelling of a particular set of similar words containing the short "a" sound. The approach is methodical and effective. Like the ability to check on a child's progress and understanding of the material. Graphics are appealing and create a friendly scene. But, Mr. Spellyfish needs to be a little less cartoon-wacky.

Lynn G.

Rating  
What I liked As a teacher, I appreciate the ability to individualize settings per user, such as volume, times required to master a word, and keyboard layouts. This app also contains a great tips section, with vocabulary definitions as well as information regarding features within the game. Great visual as well as auditory reinforcement during practice.


Improvements The developers did a great job of individualizing the learning process in this app. I cannot think of any way to improve on it. I hope they develop apps for other word families. This app provides a great practice tool for students which could easily be used in a center in the classroom or as homework once the word family has been introduced in the classroom setting.


General review Not only are players asked to spell a word that is stated, that word is also used contextually to aid in identification. The word is sounded out as the player taps letters on the keyboard. There is opportunity to self-correct when a word is misspelled. The student doesn't have to wait for the context clue to spell the word which allows for self-pacing.Players do not have to follow the order of lists;s/he can choose which list of words to work on.

Holly A.

Rating  
What I liked I thought the graphics and colors were engaging. The character was fun to listen to and look at. I like the constant reinforcement of the cvc word patterns. I liked that this app focused on one letter sound, the short a. The tutorial at the beginning of the app was helpful for little children trying to learn how to navigate a website and keyboard.


Improvements One thing I did like was the in depth practice on the short vowel a. With that being said, I would have liked to see the same amount of tasks offered for all the short vowels. It seemed like it wouldn't take the user a long time to finish the activities and be fully done with the app.


General review I think the app was colorful and engaging. I would recommend this for a K-1 classroom. I liked the "report card" offered. The review at the end of the practice session was a nice way to see if students grasp the concepts. I think the price for the app is reasonable but would like to have all vowels to practice. I give the content of the app a good score but rated the app down because it has only the one letter to practice.

Misty G.

Rating  
What I liked This is a great app for preschoolers up to first grade. Children learning to sound out words and spell will love the colorful graphics and animation. There is a section where you can track your child's progress. Spellyfish is interactive and will help when you get stuck on a word.


Improvements In the future, I would like to see a more expansive list. This app is short a words. If the pplan is to add different letters and blends in the future, I hope that the will be in one app for one price rather than 10 apps for a certain price for each.


General review Tis is a great educational app for little ones learning to read and spell. Spellyfish is interactive and fun! As you spell the word, Spellyfish sounds the letters out reinforcing the spelling and reading. When your child begs to spell just a few more words, you know you have a winner!

Libby C.

Rating  
What I liked Every word is beautifully illustrated and used in context to build vocabulary. Easy to access settings allow for customization, including volume, number of times to master a skill, letter case and keyboard layout. You can add up to 40 users, making this a great app for teachers to customize instruction. The keyboard can be ABC or QWERTY and letters are a good size for little fingers. Tutorials and hints are very well designed and are progressive, allowing every child to receive just enough help to be successful. The app seems to align well with the kindergarten curriculum.


Improvements As a teacher, managing large numbers of apps and kids, my only concern about the app is that it is just the short 'a' sound. I hope you will consider having all sounds in a single app, and would be willing to pay more for that convenience. I don't think it would be feasible to switch back and forth between different apps to use different sounds.


General review This app is beautifully designed for teaching Consonant Vowel Consonant words that contain the short 'a' sound. You can customize settings and track progress for up to 40 users. Progressive hints, with audio and visual cues, provide access and ensure success for every child. The only drawback is that it just teaches the short 'a' sound.

Erin B.

Rating  
What I liked This app makes spelling practice fun! The graphics are great and the voice is clear and easy to understand. My kids enjoyed playing and hardly realized they were practicing spelling.
I like that the vowels are a different color than the consonants. Also, I like having the option to choose between the alphabetical keyboard and the qwerty keyboard.


Improvements I would love be able to add my own words or an entire list of my own. Or at least have more word lists to choose from, even if they were a separate purchase.
I would like an option where incorrect letters were not marked red which would prevent self-correction.



General review Great app for spelling practice, though there are a limited amount of words to practice. The voice dictating the words is clear and easy to understand. There are options for what the letters look like, how loud the sounds are, what type of keyboard and more. Statistics are easy to view, save, or email to yourself!

Nico D.

Rating  
What I liked 1. The examples of words are well illustrated in the application by some very nice drawings. I like that the word is put in a sentence so kids can better understand what it means in the real world.
2. I like that when a letter in not correct, tapping the delete button erases it, even it it's the first one in a word. It's much more easier to do so then to make kids go to the wrong letter.
3. I like the design of the app. It's very colorful and eye-catching. Kids love the main character and the overall environment is nice.


Improvements 1. Having all the letters spoken out loud by the character is very nice. I understand that they are spoken how we hear them and not how we write them, but in my opinion some letters are not pronounced correctly by the character
2. The application feels laggy on my iPad 2 with the latest iOS version on board. It's not a big thing for kids because they don't notice it, but I did. You could work on this aspect for a future version
3. It's nice to have an option to skip a word, but in this application it's not too easy. You have to access a menu and then skip it. It would be nice to skip it easier


General review Overall this is a good little application that learns kids how to pronounce 3 letter words. In my opinion not all the words are pronounced correctly and the applications feels kind of laggy on my idevice. The design and idea of the app are very good, but they need improvements to make it more competitive in the AppStore.

sandy g.

Rating  
What I liked I loved all the options that were available in the settings. With all these options the children can use this app many times with each time being a new learning experience. The options also allow this app to grow with the children using it. I love that more than one child's progress can be saved!


Improvements The voice sounds for the letter "q" does not appear to be correct. It is either not enunciated clearly or the incorrect sound has been entered as it sounds just like the /k/ sound that appears on both c and k. As a kindergarten teacher I feel the "l" sound is incorrect also. It sounds like /ol/ rather than simply the /l/ in isolation.


General review I absolutely love this app. It does an excellent job of covering the vowel "a". I like that it includes a variety of rhimes. I love that on the keyboard the vowels are in orange and the consonants are in blue to distinguish them. I like that an introduction lesson is included in this app. I feel this in very important when working with young students. I would love to see apps for the other vowels as well.

Raphael S.

Rating  
What I liked I really like the name "Spellyfish". It's very innovative and quaint. The character is very charming and something I think many kids will enjoy. The graphics and artwork are pretty great as well. The app is very patient and easy for children to use. The choice of 'A words' words were selected well and are quite understanding for children new to reading. It also helps them to find confidence in their spelling skills. I think the QWERTY layout is forward thinking as it introduces children to computing keyboards.


Improvements I would like to see more versions for the other vowels in the future and maybe they could each feature a different scenery to keep things innovative but other than this app has just exceeded my expectations in every category and there's nothing more I could ask for.


General review Delightful app. It has a fun name and a charming character both of which children would like, it's also very simple to use. The graphics/artwork are great and there's a pretty good selection of words. I also like the choices of keyboard layouts and I'm really looking forward to future apps by this developer.

Mary H.

Rating  
What I liked A nice appealing app with good sound, colors and graphics. I liked that you could have multiple users (great for a classroom) and the settings were easy to find and set. The quality of the educational content was very good. A good app for beginning letter and sound recognition. The ability to tap the starfish for a hint and the positive reinforcement provided is a bonus for students to keep them moving along.


Improvements Although it is specifically an app to practice short a words I would rather see it "packaged" with other short vowels sounds or long a and short a together. I am imagining a whole series of Spellyfish apps and if there is one for every long and short vowel, I could end up with a lot of Spellyfish apps...because I really do like what I see so far.


General review This is an app that kids will ask to return to over and over again. It's attractive and engaging. It is age appropriate for Pre-K, Kindergarten and 1st grade and would be great for use in the the classroom or as a recommendation for at home practice. It is educationally sound and well done!

Marc Edward D.

Rating  
What I liked I also like how I can create multiple account for every student/kid. I also like how easy to export the reports of each student into a CSV file and then send it via email to view on my PC. I also like the graphics. It's simple but colorful. The narration is very good.


Improvements I wish to see an option to add a photo on each user account. I think that would look nice. I also wish to see an option to change the background image. I also would like to see an option where I can change the gender and voice of the squid to female.


General review This is a good app to each kids and students on how to spell and pronounce words while having fun. The narration is very good. Simple graphics with colorful background. I like how I can easily export the reports for each kid or student and send them via email. This is a good and fun way for kids to learn how to spell and pronounce words.

Nathalie C.

Rating  
What I liked > I liked the ergonomics of the app
> I liked all the settings available (sounds or names of the letters, or nothing, score or no score, letter case, keyboard layout, times to master) AND the fact that setting sets are associated with profiles.
> The game after is just great, with very positive way to motivate and reinforce learning, great graphics, good animation
> Very comprehensive around short "a" sound


Improvements > Everybody is waiting for next sounds now !
> There no longer words than 3 letters ?
> Only 30 words ? Can seem low from a parents pov
> mastering might also be freely writing and having a "submit" button, to count only real mistakes and not keyboard errors.



General review A great app, with great fun factor and perfect realisation, to learn not only "a" sound words but also improve auditive discrimination, letter name an letter sounds knowledge, keyboard layout knowledge, etc.
Great !! Looking forward to discovering other apps in the series !

Valerie M.

Rating  
What I liked Children will truly enjoy working with Spellyfish to learn their short a & CVC sounds toward spelling. By offering data trackable word pairings with illustrations in context, parents can follow their child's progress. It would work well for special needs children as well since there are so many prompts as well as a larger keyboard for children with motor impairments. It is great that the statistics are easy to view, save or email for further evaluation. Having no social media links was another big plus.


Improvements Obviously being confined to only the short letter a sound is a pretty small fraction of short words. It would be nice if there was an expansion to work on additional pairings or move onto the long a sound. Being able to create your own keyboard layout would be good for children with disabilities as well as being able to work on different sizes of text.


General review Spellyfish is a delightful application that engages young learners in improving their phonics and spelling abilities through an interactive short a combination CVC pattern spelling. High-quality audio and visual prompts as well as data tracking make this program very useful to parents and teachers alike. The only shortcoming is it's limitation to the short letter a sound in CVC pairs. Not having social media present or in app purchases is a plus.

Courtney D.

Rating  
What I liked This app is great for spelling because it utilizes phonetics and provides auditory feedback for every letter before saying the word. This helps to build the knowledge of letter sounds, which is extremely helpful when spelling words that are unfamiliar. I love the concept of using rhymes because the exposure to the same sound set helps solidify that knowledge as well! I was very impressed with this app. The graphics were great, the jellyfish lighting up when words were spelled correctly was motivating. I loved that it told me when the word was mastered based on the settings.


Improvements My wish list would include more word lists. I know the focus for this app is on the short /a/ sound; however, maybe expansion to CVC words with short vowels in rhyme form would allow for the price to go up and the depth of the app to increase. I think for the basic use of this app, short /a/ is a great focus. The taste of the potential is great for the user, but leaves more desired!


General review This was a great app and with the use of technology within most school districts these days, I think this would be a huge benefit to kindergarten teachers or parents of kindergarten students. The graphics in the app are fantastic. The way in which the jellyfish leads the user through the word knowledge is incredible. The letters, when sounded out, help to solidify simple letter knowledge, which benefits future spelling situations!