Apps

Tricky Spelling - Homophones Developed by HordernIT. Educational design by Fay Tran. Tricky Spelling apps are designed to provide enjoyable practice of words that are tricky to remember. They are designed to discourage random guessing and encourage spelling decisions based on knowledge of phonics, spelling patterns and rules. The apps have a circus theme with a clown that juggles balls when a word is completed. There is an optional game when each list is completed. Tricky Spelling – Homophones is designed to improve spelling accuracy, using evidenced based teaching techniques. The app helps children learn the correct spelling of homophones, which are words like road and rode, or to, too and two, that sound the same, but have a different spelling for a different meaning. Homophones are particularly difficult because the student’s visual memory does not help to determine the correct spelling and neither does the computer spelling check program. There are 21 lists, each consisting of eight homophones. The teacher or parent can touch Start to select the list and discuss the words and the different spellings and meanings, before the student touches Play to start the game. The target words are presented in sentences, to encourage reading and vocabulary skill development. The sentence is read to the user and the student is required to complete the missing target words. For example, in the sentence ‘I know that _______ children find this _______ too hard, the target words are ‘some’ and ‘sum’ and the letters to choose from are ‘a e o u c m n s’. There are 46 homophones in 21 sentences. The words are written by dragging the letters into the correct position. The words must be completed in the order they appear in the sentence. Feedback is provided on letter selection to encourage maximum learning and memory development. An incorrect letter turns red and will not settle in the word. Sound effects confirm the correct placement of each letter and completion of each word. When the words are completed, with every letter selected correctly, a gold star appears above the word and another in a small box at the bottom of the screen. The clown adds another ball to his juggling and the circus audience claps. When there have been one or more letters incorrectly selected along the way, a green tick appears above the word and a grey star in the box below. This is to encouraged students to try and get eight gold stars by carefully selecting each letter. Completion of each list of words is rewarded by an optional game. Setting options include sound levels for voice, music and effects, and three text colours to cater for students who are sensitive to sound or text contrast. Copyright HordernIT

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