Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2018
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A+ Spelling Test

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Spelling practice app meets expectations, doesn't exceed them

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • English Language Arts

Skills
N/A
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
1–6
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Pros: Students can create accounts and share results with teacher or parents.

Cons: No teacher dashboard, so it's more of an individual learning tool.

Bottom Line: An option worth considering for students needing to build their spelling skills at home or in the classroom.

A+ Spelling Test isn't going to be a one-stop spelling solution for teachers, but it could be a solid tool for at-home practice or a classroom station. There's no teacher dashboard, so pushing out lists to students and receiving their results could get cumbersome, since it's all handled by each student and via email. Students can also visit a classroom station to brush up their skills in preparation for quizzes and tests. Ultimately, though, It'd be easier for parents to manage at home. Parents can set students up with an account on a home device, add words assigned by a teacher, and receive emails of students' results.

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A+ Spelling Test is a spelling app for iOS. Students can practice spelling using grade-level lists from the in-app library, or teachers can create and share custom lists. With the paid version, students can create an account and share their test and practice results with parents or teachers via email. The login screen is in the app's settings, behind a parent gate that requires placing three fingers on the screen. Once logged in, students will stay logged in until someone else does so through the setting. Logged-in users get their results saved. The word library includes dozens of lists for every grade level from first to 12th as well as master lists for advanced spellers. The paid version increases the amount of built-in lists and words. There are a few modes as well. Of course, there's the standard spelling test mode, and there are options to practice (including focusing on spelling words over and over until they're correct or just reviewing mistakes) as well as an unscramble game.

Partnered with sound instruction in spelling patterns, A+ Spelling Test can give students practice learning spelling words for a test. Words are pronounced out loud to give students auditory input (they can also record their own pronunciations), but there's no kinesthetic writing of the words, only typing the letters on the device. Students do get immediate feedback if they've spelled the word incorrectly, and they can correct it. Overall, this tool is best for preparing students to spell words correctly on a test and may or may not improve spelling long-term. For teachers preparing students for spelling bees or competitions, where students need repeated exposure and practice with a set word list, A+ Spelling Test would work really well.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

The immediate feedback is helpful, but the practice options are bland (hearing and spelling the word, or unscrambling it) and may not keep students practicing consistently. 

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Spellers are given several options for practicing. Teachers can customize spelling lists or assign from the vast library of lists, including master lists for beginner, intermediate, and advanced spellers.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

The interface is sleek and easy-to-understand, but there's no in-app support available. Users must email customer support for assistance.


Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

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Users can create or upload content.
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Processes to modify inaccurate data are available.
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