App review by Stacy Zeiger, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2013
Word Magic
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Word Magic

Cute fill-in-the-blank game helps kids build spelling skills

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Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 1 review
Privacy rating
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Grades
Pre-K–2 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.
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts

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Pros: Colorful graphics and real kid voices motivate kids and make the game more engaging.

Cons: Only one method of gameplay may limit the time kids spend in the app.

Bottom Line: By filling in the blanks with the missing consonants, vowels, and letter combinations, kids build basic word recognition and spelling skills.

Teachers can have students practice spellings words both individually and in a whole-class setting. Individually, students may play the game after completing their work early or during independent work time. You can also suggest Word Magic as a resource to parents who want to help their kids build spelling skills at home. The game can also serve as a diagnostic tool. If students regularly misspell certain word types, you'll know to address those words in their lessons or through other learning activities.

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Word Magic is a cute, simple game designed to help kids learn how to spell. Filling in the missing letters to the words exposes kids to common spelling patterns, vowel sounds, sound combinations, and beginning and ending letters. Teachers and parents can control where the missing letters appear (at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the word) to meet kids' specific needs. For example, for younger children, teachers may set the game to have kids fill in missing consonants at the beginning of short common words, such as adding the letter b to -all. Older children may fill in missing vowel sounds in the middle of words, such as selecting the letter i to insert into f-rst. As kids correctly spell words, they receive stars and positive praise from real kid voices within the app.

From the fun graphics to the little kid voices, Word Magic was designed with young kids in mind. When they correctly spell the words, preschoolers and early elementary students will beam as they receive praise and rewards. Even those who make a mistake will want to keep trying, thanks to the encouraging words from kid voices in the app. Word lengths and missing sounds vary enough to keep kids interested and ensure they practice a broad range of spelling skills. To help them remember the words, kids see the word, hear the word and view a picture related to the word. However, the game itself is limited to one mode of play -- correctly fill in the blank with the missing letter. Kids may have difficulty transferring this action to other word-building activities.

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?

Cute graphics and bright colors draw kids in. Instead of using an adult voice, various kid voices provide encouragement and instruction. Limited gameplay options may keep kids from sticking with the app for long.

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?

Simple fill-in-the blank game allows for some customization to meet kids' needs. Learning is reinforced as kids see the word, hear the word, and see a related picture.

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?

Parents can sign up for SmarTots, which tracks kids' use of the app. Beyond that, kids and parents or teachers must figure out the features and settings on their own.


Common Sense reviewer
Stacy Zeiger Homeschooling parent

Community Rating

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Featured review by
Colleen M. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Lakeshore Elementary School
Holland, United States
Great spelling app! Lots of options!
Overall, this is a great spelling app. I liked that it gave the students more than one try so they see the correct spelling before moving on. I also liked that you could customize the level and what skills were being worked on. I would have liked if I could choose a specific vowel combination that could be practiced. For example, if we were working on ou and ow I would like students to be able to practice just those for extra practice. However, it is a great app for practicing spelling! My students ...
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