Monday, May 6, 2013

Guest Blogger - The Brown Bag Teacher & an AWESOME iPad App!

Hi, friends!

My name is Catherine Reed and I am ‘The Brown Bag Teacher’! I am thrilled that Kelly invited me over and cannot wait to share with you an awesome iPad app we use for spelling with our firsties.

Every classroom in my school has a 5 iPads, there are two 1:1 classrooms, and the three 5th grade classrooms have 50 iPads totaltalk about awesome technology resources! My firsties use the iPads daily  for 12-15 minutes during our literacy centers. Over the past few weeks, our spelling words have gotten progressively harder as we have moved into /r/ controlled words, as well as, letter combinations that make the same sound  - /ow/ and /oa/ & /au/ and /aw/. Harder words combined with summer fever hitting and our friends have struggled on their spelling tests!

A+ Spelling Test is a FREE app you can add to your iPad or iPhone that allows you to add your own spelling lists. To set up a list you just hit ‘New list’, type in a title, and then record your voice saying the words. It allows you to have 10ish seconds of audio, so I also added me using the words in a sentence.

There are three main activities students can do using the app –
(1) Word Scramble – The app scrambles the letters of the word and plays the audio of the word. Then, students rearrange the letters correctly spelling the word and hit enter. If they are correct, they can move onto the next word, but if they need to try again, it flashes red.

(2) Listen and Spell - That’s right students will hear your voice over the iPad and actually, this is terrifying. Who actually likes hearing their own voice? "Not I!" said The Brown Bag Teacher, "Not I!" said the other teacher bloggers. :) Butas long as you can sacrifice for your friends, they will love it and die laughing when they first hear it. Best game ever. My friends played it over and over just to hear me on the iPad – seriously!

(3) Spelling Test (practice and the real deal) – This third options give simulated practice for your friend. It is a recording of your voice saying the word and the word used in a sentence. Then, our friends type and submit the word as practice. So, if you got adventurous with this app, you could actually give all your spelling test through it and have it record the students’ scores – how cool! For right now, we’re just using it to simulate our ‘real’ test for students. 
(The circles on the tell how often the word was spelling correctly/incorrectly. Can you tell we still need practice??)
Well, friends. Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this post and learned about a new app. If you would like to learn about my journey in 1st grade, I would love for you to stop by my blog The Brown Bag Teacher for more ideas and freebies!
If you are looking for a way to practice and/or assess your spelling words, make sure to check A+Spelling Test [remember its free!]. So, tell me - How do you practice/review your spelling words?


  1. This app sounds awesome! We have 1:1 iPads in kindergarten, first, and second grade. Unfortunately, we don't have administrator rights and can't add or delete any apps on them. :( I am going to have to see about getting it added though!

    Fun in First Grade!

    1. Kristi,
      That is crazy talk! I am shocked that you all cannot add or delete apps. This app has been great for our class and a nice review of spelling words. If you can convince the app-power-holders, I would definitely go for it! :)


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